Beware Abhorrent Hate Crime Legislation

April 27, 2009

Homosexual activists aren’t easily deterred. Unable to persuade even the people of California to change the definition of marriage to legitimize their lifestyle, they’re resorting to a backdoor approach to accomplish the same thing: pushing federal hate crime legislation while few are paying attention.

Well, people better wake up, because the House Judiciary Committee has already approved Barney Frank’s bill, H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The full House is expected to vote on the bill April 29, and various liberal groups, from gay activists to liberal religious organizations, are engaged in a full-court press to get this bill passed.

The bill would make it a federal crime to willfully cause bodily injury to someone (or to attempt to do so with firearms or explosives) because of his or her actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

If states want to pass their own hate crime legislation, they are free to exercise such poor judgment. But they don’t need the long arm of the federal government cramming it down their throats.

Not only is there little constitutional justification for the federal government to legislate in this area but also the bill further impinges on state sovereignty by subjecting people to criminal liability for acts for which they’ve already been acquitted under state criminal systems.

As others have noted, the bill also violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by codifying the notion that certain groups of citizens, such as homosexuals, are entitled to greater legal protection than others, such as, say, older ladies.

The bill attempts to justify itself and its broad sweeping federal jurisdiction by reciting dubious “findings,” such as, “The movement of members of targeted groups is impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence,” and, “Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.”

Let me ask you sincerely: Do you really believe these assertions? Have you ever heard of such phenomena? Color me oblivious, but I don’t and I haven’t.

Color me, also, alarmist, but I think the main purpose of this bill is to demonize and criminalize thought, especially the politically incorrect belief that homosexual behavior is either abnormal or sinful. It is to make an emphatic societal statement that this belief constitutes “hate” and possibly to lay the groundwork for outlawing speech expressing this belief, including from the pulpit.

I hardly think I’m being hysterical here. The practice of criminalizing peaceful expression of this belief has already occurred in other nations — including Sweden, Canada and Great Britain — and even in our own Philadelphia.

New York City authorities ordered the removal of billboards — citing an anti-harassment ordinance — that displayed various biblical versions of Leviticus 18:22, such as the New International Version’s rendering, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari reportedly publicly condemned the language in the displayed verse as “mean-spirited” and “hate speech.”

Irrespective of your opinion on homosexual behavior, it is a distortion of the English language to say that it is hateful to believe it is somehow abnormal or even sinful. One can disapprove of behavior without hating those engaging in it; indeed, the Bible exhorts Christians to love, not hate. One can oppose hate crime legislation or same-sex marriage without being a homophobe — another distortion of the language to paint the opposition as irrationally and immorally fearful of homosexuals.

If you want to witness a clinic in “hate,” watch the YouTube video of homosexual celebrity blogger Perez Hilton excoriating Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for courageously offering her opinion under loaded questioning that marriage should be between a man and a woman, a belief shared by a clear majority of people in her state. This man proudly called Prejean vile names and might have single-handedly caused her to lose the Miss USA title. Now that’s an example of direct harm inflicted on one because of her beliefs. It is often not opinionated heterosexuals doing the hating, harassing, thought-control intimidation, and speech chilling these days, but militant homosexual activists.

Lovers of free speech and free exercise of religion should awaken to the relentless effort of radical homosexual activists to validate their lifestyle by demonizing, criminalizing and silencing those who disagree with them.

Far too many people, including certain well-meaning Christians laboring under the belief that Christians must eschew politics, are failing to stand up to this intimidation. This failure could eventually lead to the unintended consequence of their loss of the very freedom to evangelize.