By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Congress is expected to vote this week on a “hate crimes” bill that will give sexual preference the same legal status as race. If passed, experts say it will have a chilling effect on the free speech of anyone who espouses traditional family values in America.
The bill, called the Local Law Enforcement and Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). If passed, it will add homosexuals and transgender people to the list of classes federall protected from so-called “hate crimes.” A markup vote is expected Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) says the bill broadly defines “intimidation” and offers up this example: “A pastor’s sermon could be considered ‘hate speech’ under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on ‘sexual orientation.'” Under those circumstances, says the group, the pastor could be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit a hate crime.”
The legislation has another “serious problem,” the pro-family group says, because Congress has failed to define the term “sexual orientation.” Consequently, 30 sexual orientations (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association) will “arguably be protected” under the legislation.
“Those 30 sexual orientations include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states or can result in death,” says the TVC website.
Some of these behaviors include incest, pedophilia, prostitution, necrophilia (a crime committed with a corpse) and beastiality.
The sponsors of the bill claim that free speech activities are protected in this version of the bill, but legal experts say these exemptions can always be overturned by courts or targeted for later removal.
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “Hate crimes laws that include sexual orientation are a bad idea, because they elevate homosexuality to the same status as race and do nothing to prevent violent crimes. All crimes are motivated by hate. Hate crimes laws will not be used to punish the perpetrators but will be used to silence people of faith, religious groups, clergy, and those who support traditional moral values.”
Unless concerned citizens act now, this hate crimes bill could be on President Obama’s desk in three to four weeks at the most.
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