ADF: U.S. Senate should not pass ‘hate crimes’ bill

Bill would ‘enforce orthodoxy of political correctness,’ stifle free speech
Friday, May 01, 2009

WASHINGTON — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys warn that the U.S. Senate should not pass H.R. 1913, the so-called ‘hate crimes’ bill. If it becomes law, ADF attorneys say the bill could severely impede Americans’ constitutional rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression while creating additional legal protections for those engaged in homosexual behavior that are not available to everyone else.

“All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “So-called ‘hate crime’ laws actually serve only one purpose: The criminalization of citizens based on whatever thoughts, beliefs, and emotions they have that are not considered to be ‘politically correct.’ No one should fall for the idea that this bill does anything to bring about greater justice for Americans.”

ADF attorneys delivered a letter to the House Judiciary Committee on April 22 urging it to reject the bill. The letter noted that the enforcement of “political orthodoxy” in the form of so-called “hate crime” laws is being used to target sincere people of faith, including a small photography company in New Mexico which was fined by the state’s Human Rights Commission for declining to photograph a “commitment ceremony” between two women. New Mexico does not recognize “marriages” between members of the same sex.

“The emotion of hate is an unfortunate reality of the human experience,” the ADF letter stated. “But it is not a crime unless accompanied by a criminal action--and even then it is the action that is within the police power of the government, not the emotion. The reality is that ‘hate’ crime laws are designed to punish people for what they think, feel, or believe. The crime itself that is committed is already punished under various federal and state criminal laws.”

The U.S. House passed its version of the bill by a vote of 249-175.  The Senate will now consider whether or not the bill should become law.
 
  • ADF letter to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.