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July 20, 2009

Hate Crimes Legislation Moves Forward

The Senate voted July 16 to close discussion and attach the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as an amendment to the Department of Defense Act. The act would add sexual orientation to the category of hate crimes, and the House pass a similar version earlier this year. Changes can still be proposed today, according to the Associated Press.

Because the act is attached to the larger Department of Defense (DOD) spending bill, the entire bill still has to be discussed in a conference committee for both the House and Senate in order to produce a final version. The Washington Times writes about the legislation’s past failures:

Senate Democrats have pushed the hate-crimes legislation since 1993 and successfully added it to two of the past three defense authorization bills, though both times it was removed in negotiating a final version with the House.

Emboldened by having a Democrat in the White House, supporters are optimistic it will make it to Mr. Obama's desk this year.

Because the act is attached to a DOD bill which contains extra funding for F-22s that President Obama has publicly opposed, proponents of the act are expressing concern that even if the bill comes out of committee with the act intact, the president might veto it despite his support for hate crimes legislation.

Conservative Christian groups have opposed the addition of sexual orientation to hate crimes legislation since similar acts were proposed beginning in 1993 because they are concerned that the law could make it difficult for pastors to speak out against homosexuality.

However, other groups do not think the bill poses a threat to freedom of speech. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization that backs the legislation, hate crimes deserve special definition because they damage both the individual and “a whole community.” In response to concerns about free speech, the HRC says:

Nothing in this act would prohibit the lawful expression of one’s deeply held religious beliefs. People will always be free to say things like: “Homosexuality is sinful”; “Homosexuality is an abomination”; or “Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” The act would only cover violent actions committed because of a person’s sexual orientation that result in death or bodily injury.

See Christianity Today’s earlier story for more details.

Comments

Are we ready to strike out a portion of the Bible?
"1 Cor 2:11 For Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?" This legislation will stand AGAINST the word of God, be warned!

Gregory, you may call them clobber verses if you like. Indeed, there are many who seem to have less then the compassion of Jesus as a part of their earthly being. I am probably seen as being too simplistic at times, but simplicity has served me very well. I grew up on the family farm and taught agriculture before entering the ministry. I have simply observed God's world around me for many "answers" throughout life. AND I have yet to observe "same sex" activity running rampant in God's Amazing Outdoors, except in humans; and that is a very, very, very small percentage! Something you’d not know based on all the press it gets today!

I am continually amazed at how those bent on pushing "same sax" marriage down the rest of our throats, can consider it totally natural??? What "on Earth" is natural about it? The body was not designed to become as one with another of the same sex -- it SIMPLY does NOT "work"! God made MAN; and then realizing that HE was alone, CHOSE to make WOMAN.

You can deny the creation account if you like, but simply put, same sex "marriage" does NOT make a COMPLETE WHOLE. "Same sex marriage" is two halves -- TWO HALVES that can do things together for the rest of their Earthly lives if they beat the odds -- both statistically and medically -- however, no matter how close they claim to be emotionally, physically they will ALWAYS BE TWO, NOT ONE!

There’s a reason that we are created man and woman -- that TWO may become ONE! And, yes that CREATION might continue…

"Hate Bill" Favoritism

If "hate bill"-obsessed Congress can't protect Christians from "gays" as much as it wants to protect "gays" from Christians, will Congress be surprised if it can't protect itself from most everyone? If "hate bills" are forced on captive Americans, they'll still find ways to sneakily continue to "plant" Biblical messages everywhere. By doing so they'll hasten God's judgment on their oppressors as revealed in Proverbs 19:1. (See related web items including "David Letterman's Hate, Etc.," "Separation of Raunch and State," "Michael the Narc-Angel," and "Bible Verses Obama Avoids.") Since Congress can't seem to legislate "morality," it's making up for it by legislating "immorality"!

Greg, dude

What on earth are you talking about? I'm completely baffled by your post. How can congress legislate morality, when they are so immoral?

Is that like "christians" attempting to do the same when they thoo are immoral? You better get yourself out of peoples' houses - and deal with yours

Congress can't legislate morality because so many of them don't practice or even know morality. Listen to the news which makes sure the public knows every little detail of sin that congressional members do. And they get voted in over and over so I guess the public doesn't care about morality either. When you get congressional members with morals in those seats your laws will show this committment on the part of those writing and passing the laws. I agree with the 1% having so much influence in this country of the people, by the people, for the people. The people is 99% of this Repulbic and the laws and politicians should reflect the 99% not the 1%. No other 1% is allowed to have more influence than the 99% so why are homosexuals more special and important than the majority that makes up this Republic. Because of the money they empower and congress wants this money and wish to appease this particular group for fear of confrontation and no money. I know I wouldn't give any money to congress for what they do for me, all they do is pass more laws to restrict my freedoms. I can't eat what I want, I can't say or think what I want and congress cares less about my beliefs and my morals that come from my beliefs. All they want is taxes from me. We need another revolution from our new kings.

Anna girl,

You need to stop!!! You are becoming wuite paranoid. There are too few homosexuals for them to have that much power and money as you are talking about. With the way you talk about them, I can only but wonder if one of them took away your man or something?

We should be going after big business instead - you know like the oil companies and the pharmaceutical companies and the food companies that are making record profits while we can barely afford to live.

Gregory: If you mean by "clobber verses" you mean verses like 1 Co 6:9-10, well, they certainly DO make it crystal clear that homosexual activity is a sin. Now, I've heard all of the excuses as to why YOUR sin is not really a sin, but I ask you this: If these verses do not apply to you, can you tell me which verses don't apply to me? There are some things that God call sin that I think I'd like to try. Eating meat from strangled animals, maybe, is that a sin for me?

Diana: After you've been on this site a while you will know I'm not a girl and since I'm total woman, noone has taken away my man, especially another man. The % of a population doesn't determine how rich they are or how much influence they have in the media or Hollywood. Watch tv, check out a movie and you'll see how much the media is into sex and how much lobbying money influences politicians. Homosexuals destroyed the women's movement which they used to gain organizational power and get up high enough in government to push their agenda and once they got to where they didn't need to ride the women's movement's coattails, they kicked the women's movement aside. Homosexuals get to spend all their paycheck the way they want because they are not putting their money on kids and their time can go into organizing and spending years working on law makers because they aren't raising families. I'm all for women and men, Diane, not two men and two women because men can protect themselves simply because they have the physical strength of men, their murder rate does not make them deserve a special hate law, the murder rate of women and children deserves a special hate law. I have not mentioned the Bible saying you should not lay with a man as you would lay with a woman. I think the homosexual onslaught on the Church trying to get the Church to change its beliefs so the homosexual can have both their sex and the respect of the Church is destroying the work of generations of Church workers who built the buildings and raised the money to build their churches and now the homosexuals are going after one particular church to force their belief on the Church and to get away with not doing what the rest of us have had to do, to follow Jesus, you have to change, you have to stop your sin and sin no more. To do less means you are not following Jesus. So, now, Diane, I hope you know where I'm coming from. If I have to stop sinning, abstain from it, so do they. As for business, I don't see any business walking into my Church and telling us we gotta change our centuries old basic beliefs for the benefit of business. Auditors and laws made by government control businesses. Businesses don't control churches. Homosexuals are using the government to pass laws to help homosexuals force churches to submit to morals that are obhorrent to churches. That 1% is not for, by and of the people which is 99% of the population.

Gregory, you're quite a trip, man! I love your imagination!

Anna, girl you need counselling is all I can say. What you've written is some of the most nonsensical things that I've read for a long while.

I don't understand if this is an American thing or what? I've attended conservative Christian evangelical churches since becoming a Christian 28 years ago. Not once have I heard a sermon denouncing homosexuality. That sexual activity outside of a male / female marriage is the standard is simply a given.

It seems far more productive, to me, to talk about what we should be doing than what we shouldn't be doing. Jesus said, "The one who loves Me is the one who obeys Me." It's up to the individual to seek out how to please and obey Jesus, NOT to look for ways to get around what we know He wants for us. Anyone who's had a spouse or partner cheat on you and lie to you or sneek around behind your back knows the truth of this.