The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will vote on a controversial legislation as soon as April 20th that seeks to add homosexual and transgender people to the list of classes federally protected from hate crimes. It is expected that the bill will be passed by the committee and will come to a vote on the House floor this spring.
The new H.R. 1913, named the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009 is camouflaged because it seemingly provides protection for hate crimes against race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or those with disabilities. But some suspect it will be primarily used to service one special group.
This bill is about making violent crimes of any kind, but especially against homosexuals, a federal crime as well as a local one. It begs the questions, “Is this really necessary? Do we need more legislation to protect a special group? Aren’t current laws against violence sufficient to prosecute violent crimes? and aren’t all violent crimes hate crimes?”
The answer is no according to openly gay Congressmen Barney Franks who said in a press release, “I am proud to have participated in drafting a Hate Crimes Bill that is fully respectful of the rights of free speech and association, but also offers needed protection to those who are victims of physical crimes based on hatred. The law already increases penalties for crimes motivated by hatred in several categories, so the absence of protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is particularly egregious. This bill remedies that gap in a responsible way, fully respectful of constitutional rights and I look forward to it being passed and signed by a President who is committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
All crimes against any individual should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. But critics of the revived hate crimes legislation fear that if passed, the legislation would inhibit pastors from speaking about homosexuality as a biblical sin and be interpreted in a way that bars speech against the homosexual lifestyle. READ THE FULL ARTICLE