Memphis Commercial Appeal Uncritically Repeats FRC’s Lies About Hate Crimes Bill

Jim Burroway

August 3rd, 2007

The Memphis Commercial Appeal yesterday reported on a campaign by Tennessee pastors pressuring Rep. Steve Cohen (D) to vote against the proposed hate crimes bill, claiming it will restrict their rights to preach against homosexuality. This follows reports that the Family “Research” Council is targeting Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) with automated “robocalls” in Nashville.

The bill, which cannot and does not overturn the First Amendment, addresses only violence and direct threats of violence. It does not address speech or religion or what anyone says in the pulpit — or anywhere else for that matter. How do I know this? I posted the text of the bill on my web site. Three times! Funny how the Family “Research” Council is too cowardly to do the same.

It’s a shame that the Memphis Commercial Appeal would let these lies about hate crimes go unchallenged. Fortunately, Rep. Cohen doesn’t appear to be swayed. “That Crime Bill affects acts of violence, not acts of thought or speech,” Cohen said. “It never has in this country’s history, and it never will.”

Michael Ditto

August 3rd, 2007

FYI – Lamar Alexander is a Republican.

Jim Burroway

August 3rd, 2007

Yup. My bad.

Timothy Kincaid

August 3rd, 2007

I wonder if that means that FRC thinks Alexander is a swing vote. If they are concerned that Republicans from Tennessee may be gay positive on some votes, then the war truly is over and it’s now just a matter of getting through the battles.


August 4th, 2007

It’s too bad the FRC can’t be sued out of existence for spreading these harmful lies.

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2007


Yes, too bad. But then that would be against the First Amendment also. ;-)

Bill Ware

August 5th, 2007

As governor of Tenn 1979-1987 where he focused on better schools, and Pres of the Univ of Tenn 1988-1991 and Sec of Ed under Bush 41, Lamar Alexander propably has more understnding of the need for HS anti-bullying programs and college non-descrimination policies regarding gays than others in the Senate.

Thus, he may appreciate the need for this Hate Crimes legislation better than most.

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