NewsTue Apr 21, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-Family Group Urges Congress to Oppose Federal “Hate Crimes” Bill Set for Committee Hearing Tomor
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As the House Judiciary Committee prepares to examine tomorrow the homosexual "hate crimes" bill H.R. 1913, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is urging Congressmen to reject the bill as unconstitutional and a proven threat to Christian free speech.
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009, a reincarnation of the 2007 "Matthew Shepard Act," would put homosexuality on a par with race or religion as subject to federal protection from hate-motivated crimes. The bill would also give federal officials more involvement in prosecuting crimes when the victim’s homosexuality is suspected as a motivation.
CWA President Wendy Wright recently issued a letter to Congressmen urging opposition to the legislation, saying the "anti-hate" legislation would threaten Christian free speech in America, as it already has in other countries.
"Expanding ‘hate crimes’ to include ‘sexual orientation’ and gender identity could put people with traditional values directly in the crosshairs of official government policy," said Wright. "‘Hate crimes’ laws place us on a slippery slope toward religious persecution.
"These laws are already being employed as a tool in Brazil, Europe, Canada - and even right here in America - to intimidate and silence people who honor natural human sexuality and who value the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman. If a person speaks out against various sexual behaviors, that person may be accused of ‘hate speech,’ which could lead to an accusation of associations with ‘hate crimes.’"
Wright also charged that the bill "would create a caste system of victims and violate the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for all citizens under the law."
"The Hate Crimes Act constructs a ranking of victims based on actual or perceived ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’" said Wright, who argued that the bill would require the government to invest more resources into perceived hate crimes "over and above" crimes committed against other citizens.
Wright also criticized the bill’s expansion of federal power into state affairs; 45 states have already adopted their own "hate crimes" legislation.
"A federal ‘hate crimes’ law would signify that if the Department of Justice did not like a verdict in a state they can intrude to trump a state’s ruling," said Wright. "Yet there is no evidence to suggest that states are discriminating against any particular victims."
The Family Research Council (FRC) is promoting a petition against the bill (http://www.fighthatecrimes.com/).
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Fed. Judiciary Committee to Examine Homosexualist "Hate Crimes" Bill Monday
CWA Claims Fake "Hate Crimes" Being Used to Force Legislation through Congress
ABC 20/20 Report Says Matthew Shepard Killed During Robbery Not Anti-Gay Hate Crime
Alberta Pastor Fined $7000 and Ordered to Publicly Apologize and Remain Silent on Homosexuality