“Hate crimes” legislation is designed to protect homosexuality. Family Research Council highlights this example of the end result of “hate crimes” legislation from our northern neighbor Canada.
A Catholic city councilor in British Columbia has been ordered to pay a homosexual couple $1,000 for publicly saying that their lifestyle is "not normal and not natural." The man in question, John DeCicco, was simply restating the church's teaching on homosexuality, but the state considered his personal beliefs "hate speech" under Canada's hate crimes law. While DeCicco has since apologized to the men, the couple's complaint has resulted in a hefty fine and potential court proceedings. In an interview, DeCicco said, "In this great nation of ours, we can express our opinions and, when you can't, there's something wrong."
"The proposed federal hate crimes bill is a dangerous threat to our civil liberties," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "Having been charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law for declaring the truth about homosexuality, I can assure you that if this bill is passed and signed into law, it will be used to put Christians behind bars," Marcavage continued.
Marcavage was referring to an October 2004 incident, when eleven Christians with his organization were arrested in Philadelphia for expressing their religious views against homosexuality during "OutFest" a publicly-funded celebration of homosexuality. After spending 21 hours in jail, District Attorney Lynne Abraham's office charged them under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law called "Ethnic Intimidation," along with a host of other felony and misdemeanor charges. The charges were eventually dropped, but the protestors, if convicted would have faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each.
"H.R. 254 is nothing more than an attempt to provide federal prosecutors with the ammunition to police our thoughts, which will ultimately lead to the death of the First Amendment," Marcavage said. "This bill is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and simply un-American," he continued. "Christians must pray and respond to this emergency situation by urging their representatives to vote against this dangerous bill," Marcavage concluded.
H.R. 254 looks like it will pass both houses of the new Democrat-controlled Congress. We must appeal to the President to veto this legislation.