Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dangerous 'Hate-Crimes' Legislation Heads to Senate

Dangerous 'Hate-Crimes' Legislation Heads to Senate

by Jennifer Mesko, associate editor

Government could 'muzzle the church' if Americans don't speak out.

While millions of Americans were on their knees in prayer during the National Day of Prayer on May 3, the U.S. House of Representatives was busy passing "hate-crimes" legislation that could ultimately strip away religious freedoms.

As the legislation waits for the Senate to take it up, Dr. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, sounded the alarm on today's radio broadcast.

"It is a very dangerous piece of legislation," Dr. Dobson said. "What they have in mind is muzzling the church."

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act — H.R. 1592 in the House and S. 1105 in the Senate — would mandate additional federal penalties for crimes involving sexual orientation or gender identity. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has been attempting to pass the egregious bill in the Senate for six years.

While he was in Washington, Dr. Dobson sat down with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Gary Bauer, president of American Values, to unpack the bill.

Perkins agreed the bill has a hidden agenda.

"That could very well lead to the type of speech that pastors teach on Sunday … could eventually become criminal activity," he said. "It creates a federal hate crime when there is an act of violence against an individual based on his protected classes, which includes sexual orientation.

"It starts with hate crimes, then it progresses to hate speech, which will silence the pulpits of America."

All three family leaders agree that crimes should be punished equally.

"It suggests that a crime is somehow worse depending on what the person is thinking or saying," Bauer said. "This is just another step in this … really well-thought-out program on the Left to silence those of us that speak for the values of the overwhelming majority of the American people."

President Bush has pledged to veto the legislation.

"That took a lot of courage. I really appreciate the president having the courage to do that," Dr. Dobson said.

"It's very important for people to contact their senators, but also their representatives" in case of a veto override push.

Please contact your senators and urge them to oppose S. 1105 when it comes up for a vote. And contact the White House to thank the president for indicating he would veto the hate-crimes bill. Also, take a moment to sign the Focus on the Family Action petition.

You may contact your lawmakers through the CitizenLink Action Center.


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