By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A representative of a major homosexual activist organization has revealed that the U.S. Senate is attempting to smuggle a controversial hate crimes bill into federal law by passing it as an amendment to another piece of legislation.
According to a report by LifeSiteNews.com, Trevor Thomas, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) told the Washington Blade that “Senate leadership does not believe a hearing or mark up on the bill is necessary and plans to bring it directly to the floor as an amendment to another moving vehicle.”
The hate crimes bill, known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) passed by a 249-175 margin in April but it stalled in the Senate after senators received more than 500,000 letters of opposition from angry citizens. The Senate leadership decided its version of the bill – known as S. 909 – would attract too much opposition as a stand-alone bill and will now attempt to pass it through as an amendment to another bill. Thomas told the Blade that the senate decided this was “the most efficient way” to guarantee the measure arrived as quickly as possible at President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.
Most of the controversy surrounding this bill concerns its addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to categories protected as “hate crimes” that include race, religion, class, gender, and disability. The new bill provides special protection to homosexual people while leaving Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person.
The bill earned the nickname of “The Pedophile Protection Act” because House members refused to approve an amendment specifying that the bill would not penalize the free speech of those objecting to pedophilia. The term “sexual orientation” is not defined in the bill, an oversight that some legislators charge could lead to a too broad interpretation – since the term is used by psychologists to encompass a variety of sexual deviancies (including pedophilia), and not just homosexuality.
The HRC told the Blade that they are pushing to have the legislation approved before the end of the August session. It stated that senators in favor of the “hate crimes” bill are looking for “any and all options” as vehicles for the passage of the amendment.
Call Senate Leadership today to oppose this end-run around the will of the people. Call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 202-224-3542 or e-mail him at http://reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
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