And their reactions are true to form — full of all the same bald-faced lies we’ve heard before. Fortunately, this should be their second-to-last gasp. The last one will come when President Barack Obama signs the legislation into law. First up, Tony Perkins, of the Family “Research” Council:
“In a slap to the face of our servicemen and women, they attached ‘hate crimes’ legislation to the final defense bill, forcing Congress to choose between expanding hate crimes or making our military go without. This hate crimes provision is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality. … We call on President Obama to veto this legislation which violates the principle of equal justice under the law and also infringes on the free speech rights of the American people.”
The Family “Research” Council really needs to bone up on their research skills, because right there in the text of the bill (Section 4311) are these clauses:
3) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this division shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
(4) FIRST AMENDMENT- Nothing in this division, or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(5) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.
So unless the “planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence” is an essential element of Christian speech, people of faith have nothing to worry about.
Next up, we have Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. She also repeats the false claim that “Christians and other people of faith will now become targets for persecution and prosecution,” but adds this bit of creativity:
Hate crime legislation is based on the phony premise that there’s an epidemic of hate in America against LGBT (gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgendered) persons. This is false. FBI hate crime statistics prove that most so-called hate crimes amount to little more than name-calling or pushing or shoving.
First of all, the FBI doesn’t collect statistics for “name-calling, pushing or shoving.” They only collect statistics on violence and credible threats of violence. But that’s not the only whopper she told. Of all the hate crime categories that the FBI tracks, hate crimes based on sexual orientation are much more likely to be violent personal crimes than any other category.
|Total Hate Crime Offenses, 2007||Violent Crimes, percentage of total|
|Violent crimes include:
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter,
forcible rape, aggravated assault
and simple assault.
There are more. Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily calls the bill “the Pedophile Protection Act,” an obvious play on the “thirty sexual orientation” lie, which we dissected last May. All in all, there’s at least one thing you can say about these anti-gay activists: they may not be truthful, but they are consistent.