The title of this post sounds pretty inflammatory, doesn't it? But it's closer to the truth than the fiery rhetoric, half truths, and outright lies that the Christian religious extremists are using to obscure the truth about H.R. 1592 (The Matthew Shepard Act)
"It is evident what HR 1592 is about. It is not about homosexuals and cross dressers suffering with no food, shelter or jobs, it is about preventing Bible-believing people and pastors from speaking the truth." - Traditional Values Coalition
The Matthew Shepard Act has legislation has nothing to do with food, shelter, or jobs, and certainly nothing to do with restricting speech or making it illegal.
"Rather than prosecute all crimes equally as motivated by 'hate', H.R. 1592 would grant the federal government sweeping and entirely subjective authority to regulate the thoughts, words and actions of American citizens who could be accused of 'hate crimes' by opposing the lifestyle of a special class of citizens. -Peter J. Smith
That argument collapses in on itself when any semblance of logic is applied. Crimes aren't prosecuted equally now. Chanelle Pickett's murderer got 2 years for strangling her to death. Joel Robles' murderer received a four year sentence (Robles was stabbed 20 times with a pair of scissors). If equal justice for GLBT citizens were the norm, this legislation wouldn't be needed.
Unless Christians want the right to either attempt or cause "bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device based on their religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of any person", they can't be prosecuted under this legislation.
Don't tell that to Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition:
US Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) is one of the loudest mouthpieces for these lies.
"Violent attacks on people or property are already illegal regardless of the motive behind them, and there is no evidence that the underlying violent crimes at issue here are not already being fully and aggressively prosecuted in the states. Therefore, hate crimes laws serve no practical purpose and instead serve to penalize people for their thoughts, beliefs or attitudes." - Mike Pence
Pence uses an incident at Philedelphia's OutFest as an example of how free speech can be taken away from Christians.
"It is easy to imagine a situation in which a prosecutor may seek to link "hateful" speech to causing hateful violent acts. For example, in a 2004 case in Philadelphia, 11 individuals were arrested at OutFest, a gay pride festival. The individuals held signs and were reading segments of the Bible. They were arrested after protesting peacefully, charged with three felonies and five misdemeanors." - Mike Pence
What Mike Pence won't tell you is that those demonstrators were also charged with criminal conspiracy, obstructing a highway, failure to disperse, and disorderly conduct.This fictional version of the OutFest incident may be a great to scare little grannies, but it's not factual. Police instructed the demonstrators to go to the edge of the Outfest area. The demonstrators ignored three orders to move and were told by police they would be arrested if they refused to comply. Sitting down in the street, they refused to move, so the police then arrested them.
But the strongest rhetoric comes from via the folks over at Americans For Truth.
"How do you feel about the creation of a federal 'anti-hate' bureaucracy regulating group defamation and operating with all the efficiency of the U.S. Post Office? This bureaucracy would regulate which speech is acceptable and which is criminal because it might stimulate 'harassment' and 'intimidation' against specified groups, including homosexuals? Passage of a federal "hate crimes" law (HR 1592) would take America one giant step closer to that leftist goal.
Ted Pike of the National Prayer Network has done yeoman's work warning religious people about the implications of "thought crimes" legislation pushed by, among other leftist groups, the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-homosexuality group whose agenda has strayed far beyond the noble calling of fighting anti-Semitism.-Peter LaBarbera