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'When Homophobes Bear False Witness'


Tony Perkins, his knickers in a twist, narrates a slickly produced Flash video pimping his Public Declaration of Opposition to Thought Crimes Laws. It’s a real piece of work.

Bearing false witness – that’s what HRC is saying about the incredible effort of the bigots at the Family Research Council, which has launched a anti-hate crimes bill web feature on its site.

The Family Research Council bore false witness against its neighbors at least twice this Holy Week when communicating with its members about the need for hate crimes legislation, said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

In an attempt to scare its members into believing that federal hate crimes laws will punish simple thoughts, the FRC asks in a new Web video (www.stopthoughtcrimes.com), “What will it mean in America if thought crimes laws are passed?”  The assertion that America doesn’t already have a federal hate crimes law is a flat out lie.  The federal hate crimes law (18 U.S.C. section 245), covering race, religion, color and national origin, has been on the books since 1969.

“It’s easy to understand why the Family Research Council would feel the need to lie about the hate crimes law’s existence.  The existing federal hate crimes law already covers the employees of the FRC under its “religion” provision,” said Solmonese. “That means the FRC is either against granting others the same protections it has already enjoyed for almost forty years under current federal law or it wants to repeal the existing hate crime law. Talk about special rights.” 

Just as embarrassing, no critic of the FRC – or anyone else – has ever been thrown in jail for any supposed “thought crime” under the existing federal hate crimes law. The truth is that neither the current hate crimes law nor the expanded measure criminalize thoughts or speech; they onlycover crimes involving bodily injury or attempted bodily injury.  The hate crimes statute is only invoked to allow a federal investigation and the prosecution of bias-motivated violence if – and only if – it is necessary to achieve an effective, just result.  That only happens after a violent crime is committed, which debunks the “thought crimes” talking point.

Tell Congress to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Senate introduction of the bill is scheduled for April 12, and in the House, it will hopefully go to the floor for debate around April 23.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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