Thursday, April 30, 2009

Will your pastor be arrested?

UPDATE: HR1913 passed the House April 28. As written without definition of gender, sexual identity, it could presumably include thirty recognized and some illegal activities. Video here.

The H.R.1913 Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was in committee on April 22nd and was passed by the committee on April 23rd in a vote of 15-12. If passed by full House vote, this will expand protected classes to include "sexual identity" and "gender identity".

Here is the following excerpt from H.R.1913 that every citizen should be concerned about:

SECTION 4

(1) IN GENERAL- At the request of a State, local, or Tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide...prosecutorial assistance...in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that—
(C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or Tribal hate crime laws.

We agree with the Family Research Council that “All people deserve to be protected from crime, and equal protection under the law means equal protection for ALL. In a hearing on this legislation last Congress, Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) admitted that under the legislation pastors could be arrested for hate crimes based on what they teach and preach, which is certainly a violation of free speech and an example of unfair treatment under the law.”

We believe this legal vernacular opens a dangerous door for people to be held criminally liable for their biblical beliefs, thoughts, and speech, which we believe is a direct violation of First Amendment rights, and the reason why ministers in the pulpit or anyone with dissenting voices should feel concerned over this bill.