Update: Please see these two articles
Washington Digest: Senate expands hate crimes law
The Folly of Hate-Crime Laws
Senate ready to vote on 'hate crimes' bill
Urgent: Call your senators today to oppose any form of hate crimes legislation
July 15, 2009
We have confirmation that a vote on the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes bill (S.909) will happen this week. It is likely that the bill will be introduced as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. If the Senate approves the Hate Crimes amendment, President Obama will sign it into law.
The Hate Crimes legislation would authorize the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Even more troubling is that S.909 could create special protections for pedophiles. Democrats voted down an amendment to the bill that would have excluded pedophilia and other "sexual orientations" from the definition of "sexual orientation."
For years, AFA and other pro-family groups have issued warnings about federal Hate Crimes legislation. The reality is that the purpose of this bill is to silence those who speak out against homosexuality. If the legislation passes, pastors could be prosecuted under the federal inducement statute for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality. For example, a person could commit an act of violence against a homosexual individual and blame it on the pastor's sermon. Similar laws have been used to prosecute religious speech in the U.S. at the state level and abroad.
Click here to get the direct telephone number for your two senators, along with suggested talking points for your call. Call your senators today to demand politely, but firmly, that they vote against any attempt on passage of Hate Crimes legislation. Congress has refused to define the term "sexual orientation," which means that all sexual orientations are protected.
Pastors, it is time to take a stand. Share this information with your members, and ask them to call.