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ANTI-HATE LAW UPHELD AS CONSTITUTIONAL IN NEW JERSEY

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Sponsored link.

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Source: Lancaster New Era, Lancaster PA, 1997-MAR-31

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A 1992 New Jersey law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, marital status and sexual orientation. It also criminalizes efforts to aid or coerce anyone else into committing acts of discrimination, boycotting, or commercially blacklisting against anyone protected by the law.

The Rev, David B. Cummings of the Faith Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Pittsgrove, N.J. argued that the law violates his first amendment rights to condemn homosexuality as sinful. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church was once part of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.; they believe that any form of sex outside of marriage is a grievous sin.

Rev. Cummings lost in a lower court. The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the law was aimed at conduct not speech; e.g. threatening a business with a boycott if they refused to fire gay/lesbian employees. Rev. Cummings' lawyer disagreed. He said the law would prohibit "peaceful informational boycotts" and penalize speech "advancing the viewpoint that sexual conduct should have moral limits."

The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court which has refused to hear his case. The law thus stands as constitutional.

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