According to LifeSiteNews, a conservative Christian news outlet, this bill
adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally-protected
classes. In common with many other conservative religious groups, they didn't
mention that the law would also add gender and disability as protected
classes, thus also discouraging hate crimes against female, male, intersexual,
disabled, and/or able bodied persons. To their credit, they did mention sexual
orientation and gender identity, thus implying that heterosexual, bisexual,
homosexual, transgender, transsexual, cis-gendered persons would be
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a
conservative Christian group, said:
"'Hate crimes' laws contradict the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and
create unequal justice by elevating some groups of victims at the expense of
others. ... Victims who engage in homosexual, transgender, or other sexual
behavior get special treatment over victims who are military officers, police
officers or veterans." 1
She seems to be buying into the novel concept by some evangelical para-church
groups that there are 30 or more sexual orientations,
not just the three that everyone else believes exist.
Her "sexual behavior" comment seems to imply that criminals
who engage in pedophelia, incest, necrophilia, bestiality, and other mostly
criminal sexual activities would be
protected under the law. They would not be.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest civil rights group in the
U.S. working towards equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
persons. President Joe Solmonese commented:
"Once again, we have demonstrated that more than 60 Senators support the
Matthew Shepard Act, legislation that will provide police and sheriffs'
departments with the tools and resources they need to ensure that entire
communities are not terrorized by hate violence. Today's key vote move this
legislation one step closer to the President?s desk. With the support of an
overwhelming majority of the American people, including more than 300 law
enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, it is past time
we take this important step toward combating hate in our country." 2
Joe Solmonese was featured in a HRC You Tube video. It was posted on
2007-APR, but is still up to date:
Viewers rated the video 4.5 out of 5 stars. They left 291
comments, as of 2009-JUL-18. 3
Coral Ridge Ministries, is a service of the fundamentalist Christian megachurch Coral Ridge
Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 4 It is a
curious website because a casual reader would conclude that their minister, D.
James Kennedy is still actively leading the church. In reality, he gave his
last sermon on 2006-DEC-24, and died on 2007-AUG-26. 5
The ministry regularly collect signatures on petitions from their website
visitors. As of early 2009-SEP they had two active petitions:
One is titled "Defeat Dangerous
Health Care 'Reform' Legislation." It features a picture of a mother and
infant with the caption: "Health care 'reform' could kill babies."
The other it titled "America's
Independence Threatened by Globalism" and features a United Nations symbol
superimposed on an image of the American flag. 6
Their monthly Ministry Update
mailing on 2009-SEP-03 mentioned that they had delivered 13,055
petitions to the President and Congress. They wrote: "This petition
fights the passage of federal 'hate crime' legislation, and helps preserve
Christians' right to freedom of speech." 7
Freedom of speech, of course, is quite adequately protected by the First
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and will not be affected by the hate crimes
bill. The Bill only refers to violent acts, not hate speech.
Doug Carlson of the Ethics &
Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote a news item
titled "Last chance to stop hate crimes bill." He wrote in part:
"The years-long battle over hate crimes legislation is entering its most
critical hour. Both the House and Senate have passed such bills, which
threaten to criminalize thought against homosexuality, while granting
homosexual victims of violent crimes a preferred place under the law."
Of course, the bill only criminalizes violent assault, not thought.
However, if the perpetrator is trying to terrorize an entire community of whom
the victim is one member, then the crime would be treated more seriously than
Homosexual victims are not given "... a preferred place under the law."
Persons of all sexual orientations, whether heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian or
gay are given precisely the same
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.