Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bush Pledges to Veto Hate-Crimes Legislation



Bush Pledges to Veto Hate-Crimes Legislation


by Jennifer Mesko, associate editor

It's important to talk with your senators while they are home on recess.

If the Senate returns from its August recess and votes in favor of expanding federal hate-crimes legislation, the White House said President Bush will be ready with his veto pen.

The hate-crimes amendment, which is attached to a Defense spending bill, creates a new category of crime for actions said to be motivated by prejudice based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity." In May, the House passed its hate-crimes bill, 237-180.

"The qualifications (in the bill) are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate-crimes elements," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told The Washington Times. "The proposals they're talking about are not sufficiently narrow."

Chuck Colson, an author, speaker and columnist, said the bill is not about crime prevention.

"It's about outlawing peaceful speech — speech that asserts that homosexual behavior is morally wrong," he told The Times.

A recent Focus on the Family Action radio broadcast addressed the dangerous legislation.

"This legislation is unnecessary, creates second-class victims and paves the way for prosecution of religious speech," said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action.

"Virtually everywhere 'hate-crime' laws have passed, prosecutions for speech have followed. In Sweden, Canada and Great Britain, 'hate-crime' laws have been used to prosecute Christians speaking their disapproval of homosexual behavior, posing a serious threat to religious liberty and free speech."

Congress is on its August recess. Call or visit your senators in their district offices and register your opposition, urging them to reject the hate-crimes amendment to the Defense authorization bill or any similar attempt to grant special protections based on sexual orientation. 

You can find numbers for your senators' district offices on the U.S. Senate Web site. You may have to dig around a little.

Does hate-crimes legislation go far enough? In his Stoplight video commentary, CitizenLink Managing Editor Stuart Shepard suggests how a few additional laws could fill out the picture.

Click here for a hate-crimes fact sheet.

Source: http://www.citizenlink.org/CLtopstories/A000005217.cfm


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