S.909: An unnecessary, dangerous threat to one of our most basic constitutional guarantees and to religious freedom.

Please take a moment to contact Senators Brown and Voinovich

S.909: An unnecessary, dangerous threat to one of our most basic constitutional guarantees and to religious freedom.

Last month we alerted you to what we consider one of the most far-reaching, threatening, dangerous bills ever considered by our federal government – a bill that responsible, pro-family legislators have described as “an unconstitutional threat to religious freedom, freedom of speech, equal justice under that law and basic federalism principles.”

At the time that we wrote, the so-called “federal hate crimes law” already had passed the House of Representatives.

Today, we are gravely concerned by reports that the Senate is close to passing a practically identical version of the bill – S.909, nick named the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

There is no doubt that President Obama, with an insatiable appetite for powers belonging to the states, would sign the bill into law once approved by the Senate.

Sponsors and proponents have purposely misled their constituents as to the inevitable ramifications of this bill and their agenda-driven intent in supporting it.

To express your objection to this dangerous bill to both U.S. senators from Ohio, click here.

The following points may clear up some of the confusing and deceptive rhetoric coming from the bill’s proponents and mainstream media:

1. Many pro-family commentators and legislators fear that pedophiles may be among those given special protection under this bill, and have even tagged it the Pedophile Protection Act. Congressional proponents of the bill ridicule the suggestion, claiming that the bill could not be construed to protect pedophiles. Our own senator, Sherrod Brown, recently wrote, “(C)laims that ‘sexual orientation’ will be defined to include criminal acts, such as pedophilia, are categorically emphasis ours) false. “Existing federal law”, Brown goes on to say, “defines ‘sexual orientation’ as consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality.”

The fact is, such concerns clearly are justified. The authors, sponsors and proponents of this bill have categorically (emphasis again ours!) refused to define the term “sexual orientation.” In the absence of definition specific to this bill, the meaning of this term is subject to interpretation. Which means that any of the bizarre sexual orientations published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders could be protected by this bill. Proof of the point that covering such bizarre orientations is the very intention of the bill’s authors is the fact that amendments were offered that would have specifically excluded an orientation to pedophilia from special protection under this bill, but all such amendments were voted down!

2. The very heart of this bill is a violation – a stripping away – of one of our most basic constitutional guarantees – equal protection under the law. This bill provides a higher intensity of investigation and prosecution for crimes against persons in certain federally protected classes – now to include one’s “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” – than for the same crimes committed against other persons.

To place that in a practical context: Is the senseless, brutal rape and murder of one’s preteen daughter while jogging in the park somehow less heinous than the shooting/murder of a cross-dresser during a bar brawl? No! Both should be investigated, prosecuted and punished vigorously!

3. This bill would create the legal framework to criminalize the mere expression of the Biblical truth that homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s plan for sexuality. Proponents of the bill deceptively state that the bill applies only to violent crimes that cause “death or bodily injury.

It is that term “bodily injury,” which is the loophole through which federal and state law enforcement agencies will leap to prosecute the mere expression of objection to homosexual behavior. If a homosexual person simply hears a pastor – or any other person – express the Biblical truth regarding homosexual behavior, and that person then claims to experience insomnia, an upset stomach, temporary impairment of cognitive faculties, or any other “stress-related” physical symptom, that person could claim “bodily injury” as a result of the “hateful” speech. Do not think that such reasoning is a stretch! In countries and in U.S. cities where similar hate crimes laws already are in place, law enforcement agencies have stifled religious expression on this very basis! Further, if such a leap were not the intention of the proponents of this bill, language that would have closed this loophole could have been substituted.

4. Finally, this bill is a completely unjustified federal power grab. There is absolutely no data to support a claim that the states are not vigorously prosecuting all violent crimes. Congress has no authority to federalize a responsibility that lies within the Constitutional authority and competence of the states.

Ironically, the 1998 case for which the Senate version of this bill is nicknamed is an excellent case in point. Without a hate crimes law in place, and without federal intervention, Matthew Shepard’s killers were convicted and sentenced to double life sentences without parole. Only the pleas of Shepard’s parents persuaded the judge to spare the two the death penalty.

Please click the link below to send Senators Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich a message.

Admittedly, our pleas may fall on deaf ears. In the case of Senator Brown, who in his one term has earned one of the most anti-family, anti-faith records in the Senate, our request almost undoubtedly will be ignored. Nonetheless, we must let both senators know that a majority of their constituents understand the dangerous, unconstitutional provisions of this bill and see through disingenuous attempts to minimalize the bill’s anti-family, anti-faith, anti-freedom ramifications.

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