Saturday, July 14, 2007

AFA of PA ACTION ALERT: URGENT: Kennedy Changes Tactics on Hate Crimes Bill



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P.O. Box 1048

149 Summit Drive

Franklin, PA   16323

Phone:  1.814.271.9078   FAX:  1.814.437-5432




July 12, 2007


Ted Kennedy Pulls a ‘Fast One’ – Changes Tactic on Hate Crimes Bill


Late Wednesday Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) offered the Hate Crimes bill (S1105) as an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization bill.   He may be realizing that S1105 was going to have a hard time to pass as a ‘stand-alone-bill’ and tacking it onto the military reauthorization bill would force President Bush to veto the entire reauthorization act in order to veto the hate crimes component.   As of this writing there are 205 amendments to the Defense Reauthorization bill.  They will not all be debated, but the Kennedy Amendment most definitely will be!   Currently there is not a copy of the amendment online.


Wednesday I was in Washington, DC attending a news conference and rally in opposition to S1105, the 'Matthew Shepherd Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007.'  Afterwards members of the Philadelphia Eleven and I visited the offices of Senator Casey and Senator Specter. After they told their stories of the arrests on October 10, 2004, I gave the Senator’s staff member we met with a copy of our petition opposing S1105 along with the names of over 800 Pennsylvanians who had signed the petition.  (We have received more names since then and I will fax those names to the Senators’ offices.) 


I’m not sure we made any head-way, but the Senators knew that Pennsylvanians were ‘in town’ opposing the bill.  Senator Casey’s office especially expressed disbelief that we were all from Pennsylvania even after we offered to show them our driver’s licenses!


Unfortunately, even as we were meeting with staffers from Casey’s and Specter’s offices, shenanigans were going on in the United States Senate!  Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) were busy filing the hate crimes bill as an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization bill!  (In 2005 this is how the U.S. House got it passed!  They attached it to the Children Safety Act of 2005!)   They are at it again!


So . . . now the Hate Crimes bill is Amendment # 2067 (the Kennedy Amendment) to H.R. 1585 (the Defense Reauthorization Bill).  There are fifteen co-sponsors of this amendment of which one is Senator Arlen Specter.


On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest homosexual group in the nation, along with ‘clergy against hate’ ran a full page ad in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.  Click here to view the ad. 


They also have the signatures of 1,300 clergy members on a letter supporting the hate crimes bill.  Following are the Pennsylvania clergy members who signed onto the letter.  Do you know any of them? I recognize at least one Metropolitan Community Church leader. 

Reverend Arlene Ackerman, PA

Reverend Ann Marie Alderman, PA

Reverend Carol Anthony, PA

Reverend Steve Aschmann, PA

Reverend Karen Battle, PA

Mr. Rocky Bayer, PA

Reverend Greta Browne, PA

Reverend J. Howard Cherry, PA

Reverend Jocelyn Emerson, PA

Reverend Dorothy M. Field, PA

Reverend Jennifer Glass, PA

Reverend Elizabeth Goudy, PA

Mr. Jameson Greene, PA

Reverend Clyde Griffith, PA

Reverend Gary Hackenberg, PA

Reverend Mark Hayes, PA

Reverend William Hemphill, PA

Reverend Dr. Thomas Herrold, PA

Reverend Ray Holland, PA

Ms. Susan Horwitz, PA

Leader Richard Kiniry, PA

Reverend Gary L Lake

Dillensnyder, PA

Rabbi Alan LaPayover, PA

Ms. Claire McCrea, PA

Father Joseph Menna, PA

Reverend Nancy Miller, PA

Ms. Karen Moore, PA

The Reverend Jay Newlin, PA

Ms. Sarah Newmark, PA

Ms. Patricia Parsons, PA

Sister Ellen Poist, PA

Ms. Patricia Schwartzberg, PA

Reverend John Snyder, PA

Reverend Judy Welles, PA

The Reverend Alice Blair Wesley, PA

Pastor Robert Wilson, PA

Mr. D John Woodcock, PA

Reverend Susan Worrell, PA

Rabbi Shawn Zevit, PA

Reverend Stephanie Barnett, PA

Reverend Denita Connor, PA

Reverend Roberta Dunn, PA

Dr. Kathryn Ellis, PA

Reverend Thomas Eoyang, PA

Reverend Bruce Gascoine, PA

Reverend Harriet Kollin, PA

Bishop Edward Lee, PA

Ms. Margaret O. Moyer, PA

Most Reverend Michael J Scalzi, PA


Please consider taking action, we are possibly only hours away from losing our First Amendment and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when it comes to addressing homosexuality as sin.  See the end of this alert for Talking Points.




1.)  If freedom of speech and equal protection under the law is important to you, please contact Senator Specter and Senator Casey.  Please take time to make two phone calls . . . contact their district office nearest you and their D.C. office.  Please call.  Too many times e-mails can be easily ignored and deleted.  Click here for Senator Specter’s contact information. Click here for Senator Casey’s information. Make sure you leave your name and address when you make the calls.


Message:  Vote ‘No’ on Amendment # 2067 –the Kennedy Amendment—to the Defense Reauthorization bill. 


2.)  Listen to American Family Focus on PA Issues as I interview Peter LaBarbera and Dan Musick of Americans for Truth as they give an eyewitness account of the assault on Christians and the indecency during the Chicago ‘Gay Pride’ Parade a couple weeks ago.  Click here.



3.)   Feel free to forward this alert to other concerned Pennsylvanians.  If this alert is being forwarded to you by a friend, please feel free to sign up by sending an e-mail to 


4.)  Please consider supporting the ongoing work of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.  Make an online donation.


In His service,


Diane Gramley


American Family Association of PA



AFA of PA encourages Christians, through education, to become involved in pro-family issues in their community, state and the nation.




Talking Points:


This Hate Crimes bill:

q      Federalizes each and every State and local crime

q     Threatens religious leaders and groups with criminal prosecution and investigations into a suspect’s thoughts, beliefs and statements.

q     Requires criminal investigations to probe if a crime occurred “because of” bias towards a protected group, and opens the door to criminal investigations of a suspect’s philosophical beliefs, politics, biases, religion, activities, and past statements.

q      Creates unequal treatment of victims by treating crimes against protected groups more seriously than non-protected groups (e.g. the murder of a homosexual victim will be treated more seriously than a heterosexual victim.)

q      Violates the Commerce Clause, the Thirteenth, the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendments.

The Hate Crimes bill is unnecessary: the underlying offense is already fully and aggressively prosecuted in all 50 States. FBI statistics show that the incidence of hate crimes has actually declined over the last ten years.


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