Senate Democrats Sneak “Hate Crimes” Bill into Crucial Defense Bill

Would hold US troops fighting "War on Terror" as hostages in exchange for sweeping "hate crimes" legislation
Fri Jul 13, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2007 ( - Senate Democrats will hold US troops fighting the "War on Terror" as hostages in exchange for sweeping "hate crimes" legislation if the Senate votes this week, perhaps as early as Monday, to include it in the defense spending bill.

  Instead of introducing the legislation giving sexual orientation "hate crimes" protection as a separate bill, Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) opted to introduce the "Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act" as one of hundreds of amendments to the Defense Reauthorization bill requested by President Bush.

"There’s no question this is an attempt to sneak the bill in under the most shameful circumstances because they are attaching it to the defense of our military troops," Mat Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel told

  Sens. Kennedy and Smith’s strategy, Staver said, forces the President into a terrible dilemma: President Bush must either approve "hate crimes" legislation or veto the entire spending bill thus leaving US troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan without new support and dwindling resources. Since the President has no line-item veto, approval of the defense bill is an all or nothing deal.

"This is an underhanded ploy by liberals in the Senate to try to force Bush to sign dangerous hate crimes legislation into law," said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America (CWA). "I would suspect that [Bush] would send this back to the Senate and say ‘quit playing games with the lives of our troops’ and have them send a clean bill to his desk to get these troops taken care of."

  In May, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 1592 the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill similar to the Senate version proposed by Sens. Kennedy and Smith, that would insert "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into existing hate crimes provisions, and give the federal government unprecedented involvement in local law enforcement.

  The President had promised to veto any "hate crimes" legislation, calling the bill "constitutionally questionable." A statement from the White House said, "There has been no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement."

  Conservative groups have charged that "hate crimes" equals "thought crimes" and carries major implications for the religious freedom of Christians and other religious groups who preach homosexual behavior is intrinsically disordered and immoral. Such fears were confirmed when Rep. Artur Davis, a supporter of the bill, admitted that under this law a pastor could be charged with the crime of incitement if the he preached against homosexuality and a person in the congregation left church and committed a crime against a homosexual.

  CWA’s Barber told that pro-family advocates must tell their respective senators to vote against the "hate crimes" amendment. "The grassroots, people of faith, people of conservative values and principles must be contacting their senators and let them know that any hate crimes legislation is unacceptable and they need to do whatever they can to fight this legislation," he said.

  CitizenLink provides a page to find contact information for elected officials:

  See related coverage by

  Democrats Refuse Religious Freedom Amendment to Hate Crimes Bill

  CWA Claims Fake "Hate Crimes" Being Used to Force Legislation through Congress

  US House Passes Gay Hate Crime Bill

  President Bush Promises to Veto Homosexual Hate Crime Bill if Passed

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