Last Chance to Stop Hate Crimes Bill

By Doug Carlson
Sep 29, 2009

The years-long battle over hate crimes legislation is entering its most critical hour. Both the House and Senate have passed such bills, which threaten to criminalize thought against homosexuality, while granting homosexual victims of violent crimes a preferred place under the law. Now congressional liberals, armed with the homosexual lobby, are hoping to prevail with final negotiations and votes necessary to send the dangerous measure to the White House for a signing victory.

The last chance to stop hate crimes legislation—a grave threat to the religious speech of Christians—from becoming the law of the land is upon us.

This week, a House-Senate conference committee is expected to hammer out differences on a military-funding authorization bill, with liberals intent on including the hate crimes measure as part of the package. In July, the Senate passed its version of the hate crimes bill (S. 909) as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill; in April, the House gave hearty approval to a stand-alone hate crimes measure (H.R. 1913), separate from the defense bill.

Contrary to supporters’ arguments, this proposed hate crimes law is not about equal protection. It is about special protection for homosexuals and transgenders on the basis of “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity that others who suffer identical acts of violence do not receive.

No one should engage in an act of violence against someone because of that person’s sexual orientation, but neither should anyone be prosecuted because of their religious beliefs about homosexuality. Yet that is what is at stake under a federal hate crimes law. The freedom for pastors and Sunday School teachers to preach and teach the biblical truth about homosexuality hangs in the balance.

While the Senate-adopted hate crimes bill includes an amendment offered by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to protect pastors and others as long as their speech is not intended to incite an act of violence against homosexuals, the protection is not a cure-all for Christians. Pastors still could face government scrutiny and be forced to prove their innocence. Nor is there any guarantee that the Brownback amendment will be included in the final bill, should Congress agree to include a hate crimes measure in the defense bill.

Congress traveled this road once before. In the previous Congress, the House and Senate followed this year’s legislative path, only to drop the hate crimes legislation from the defense bill in the face of a veto threat from then-President George W. Bush. But this is a new season with a new man in the Oval Office. President Obama is one of the hate crimes bill’s strongest allies.

The potential erosion of religious liberty and the special protected status conferred under a hate crimes law demands our every effort to press for the bill’s defeat. That hour is now.

If you agree, please urge your representative and senators to oppose the Defense Authorization bill if it includes hate crimes legislation. The Senate committee conferees for the defense bill have been named. If one of your senators is among them, listed below, he or she especially needs to hear from you.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (HI): (202) 224-6361
Sen. Evan Bayh (IN): (202) 224-5623
Sen. Mark Begich (AK): (202) 224-5623
Sen. Roland Burris (IL): (202) 224-2854
Sen. Robert Byrd (WV): (202) 224-3954
Sen. Kay Hagan (NC): (202) 224-6342
Sen. Carl Levin (MI): (202) 224-6221
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT): (202) 224-4041
Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO): (202) 224-6154
Sen. Ben Nelson (NE): (202) 224-6551
Sen. Bill Nelson (FL): (202) 224-5274
Sen. Jack Reed (RI): (202) 224-4642
Sen. Mark Udall (CO): (202) 224-5941
Sen. Jim Webb (VA): (202) 224-4024

Sen. Richard Burr (NC): (202) 224-3154
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA): (202) 224-3521
Sen. Susan Collins (ME): (202) 224-2523
Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC): (202) 224-5972
Sen. James Inhofe (OK): (202) 224-4721
Sen. John McCain (AZ): (202) 224-2235
Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL): (202) 224-4124
Sen. John Thune (SD): (202) 224-2321
Sen. David Vitter (LA): (202) 224-4623
Sen. Roger Wicker (MS): (202) 224-4024

Further Learning

Learn more about: Citizenship, Legislation,


1 On Sep 30, 2009, at 1:25am, Linda Hoggatt wrote:

Disagreeing with someone, homosexuals and people of all races included, is my right as an American. It is not because they are hated. As a Christian, I believe in prayer for everyone, as well as their right not to pray. When I disagree, it is because I disagree with their political choices. It is just an excuse to pull the race card when opinions differ. As a Christian, I have the same right to my opinion as those of different faiths or no faith do. With equality comes the right to disagree with you.

2 On Sep 30, 2009, at 6:14pm, dick lindsey wrote:

As believers we must and should take a stand against sinful behaviors and lifestyles contrary to Scripture. This does not involve promoting hate or contempt but preaching and teaching the truth of God’s word in love.

3 On Sep 30, 2009, at 10:18pm, Loyd Hutson wrote:

My right to speak out in opposition to a lifestyle or any other condition in society that affects me is equally as strong as that of the proponent(s) of that particular condition.  This right is guaranteed in the first amendment to the constitution.  The matter of inciting violence has already been addressed for any reason.

4 On Oct 1, 2009, at 3:32pm, DS Hughes wrote:

Please forgive me if my last comments were too mean spirited to show.  I am concerned for this Nation, since it seems this present administration is leading this country farther away from our Christian roots.  From abortion, promoting the gay lifestyle, our President’s speech in Egypt, Muslim’s praying to their God at our Capital building, it’s time to be concerned.  My heart is broken for this Nation and especially for our little ones. Jesus said, “Watch and pray ... the hour is at hand.”

5 On Oct 3, 2009, at 6:55pm, Paul Harris wrote:

“The freedom for pastors and Sunday School teachers to preach and teach the biblical truth about homosexuality hangs in the balance.”

This is not true. Hate crimes focus on ACTS committed because of the victims race - a common enough occurrence - religion and now gender orientation. Nothing in these bills outlaws saying you believe homosexuality is wrong or un-Biblical.

Christians who do not advocate violence against other people have nothing to worry about. Those who do face a final Judgement Day that should be more terrifying than any earthly court.

6 On Oct 8, 2009, at 7:14pm, Rev. Peter A. Treadwell wrote:

Unlike some other fellow pastors and preachers of the African-American community of my age group and older as well as younger. My loyalty was not sold to the democrats for a hand out or a promised goverment funded program.
I am 48 years old and regardless of what comes out of Washington D.C I am going to continue to side with the entire word of God and homosexuality and lesbianism and heterol sexual fornication or shacking up, abortion and racism will never be acceptable to me or any other real born-again christian or authentic preacher or pastor called by Jesus Christ to proclaim the Gospel and to teach the entire word of God unadulterated. I will continue to preach the truth and tell people they can be forgiven and saved and set free through Jesus Christ and through Him alone. Acts 4:12

7 On Oct 8, 2009, at 7:28pm, David Womack wrote:

If someone does violence or threatens to do violence to another human being for any reason, or for no reason, it is wrong except in defense from death or seriously bodily harm of themself or another person.  It is not any more wrong because that human being is of a particular race, sexual orientaton or ethinicity.  My life is as valuable as any other life.  We should all be treated equally.

The comment thread for this article is now closed. Please use our contact form.

You May Also Like

Resisting Lips that Drip Honey: Wisdom on Sexuality from Proverbs

By Staff - Mar 4, 2014

At this year's ERLC Leadership Summit on "The Gospel and Human Sexuality," Jon Akin will be speaking on resisting temptation in his session “Resisting Lips that Drip Honey: Wisdom on Sexuality from Proverbs.” Akin serves as senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tenn., and as adjunct professor for Southern Seminary.…

Read More

Christmas and commerce: It’s not all bad

By Barrett Duke - Nov 29, 2012

Christmas, what a great time of year! I’m glad we celebrate the coming of God to man in the person of Jesus Christ. Through His birth, sinless life, death, and resurrection Jesus provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and find eternal peace with God.…

Read More
Kenya - World Hunger Fund LIFE DIGEST: Woman chooses life for child wrongly implanted