Before the passage of the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action predicted that the hate crimes legislation would “send pastors to prison” and give legal protections to pedophiles. Of course, pastors haven’t been sent to prison and pedophilia wasn’t legalized, but that hasn’t stopped Porter from repeating even more false claims. Today on her radio bulletin, she asserted that President Obama is “declaring war against those who refuse to accept and affirm” the so-called “homosexual agenda” and is bent on “criminalizing dissent.”
Forcing acceptance of homosexuality.
If there’s one thing that President Obama made clear in his second inaugural address, it’s this. To a nation dealing with high unemployment and debts that threaten to crush everyone, he is committed to pushing the homosexual agenda forward and is declaring war against those who refuse to accept and affirm it.
After putting homosexuals who battled a police raid on a homosexual bar in the same category as those who fought for civil and women’s rights, Obama said “our battle is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”
Sounds nice, but like the pastor who was pushed out of praying at the inauguration for a sermon on homosexuality he gave twenty years ago, this agenda is really about silencing and criminalizing dissent.
American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday hosted conservative writer Neil Mammen on Today’s Issues, where Wildmon warned that “if President Obama is re-elected again” he will “threaten our religious freedoms” by making hate speech laws to “shut you down if you have anything critical to say about homosexuality.” Conservatives have been warning, dishonestly, of impending hate speech laws for years now, with groups warning of churches being closed and pastors getting arrested and going to prison. While their nightmare vision never seems to come true, Religious Right leaders like Wildmon never fail to make such claims in order to rile up their supporters and stoke fears of equal rights for gays and lesbians.
Wildmon: If President Obama is re-elected again, he will appoint more ACLU lawyer type judges to the Supreme Court and to the federal bench, all right, that will threaten our religious freedoms in this country as we’ve known them. I guarantee you it will. Now President Obama would reject that idea but I’m telling you they will, for instance they will take hate speech, if you speak out against homosexuality, and they will impose that as unacceptable and they will shut you down if you have anything critical to say about homosexuality.
Mammen: Look at this new contraception law thing that they pushed through.
Wildmon: Exactly. Prime example, prime example right there.
Early in 2010, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan and three Michigan pastors filed a lawsuit against the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The group was represented by the ultra-right wing Thomas More Law Center, which argued that "the sole purpose of this law is to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin."
You'd think that with Glenn focusing on this Senate race and rounding us support from leaders like Mike Huckabee, the last thing he'd be interested in would be resurrecting this two year-old lawsuit ... but that is exactly what is happening:
A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is taking up the claim of three Michigan ministers that a federal hate crime law infringes on their First Amendment rights and should be declared unconstitutional.
Oral arguments are scheduled Wednesday.
The law expands federal hate crimes to those committed against people because of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
The ministers say they could be targeted for their sermons against gay behavior. The law's supporters say it's aimed at acts of violence, not speech by clergy.
A lower court judge dismissed the lawsuit last year.
The ministers are Jim Combs of Waterford, Rene Ouellette (oo-LET') of Bridgeport and Levon Yuille (YOOL) of Ypsilanti. Another plaintiff is Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan.
President Obama signed the legislation in October 2009 and, to date, not one person has been charged for preaching against homosexuality ... but that obviously is not going to stop anti-gay activists from filing lawsuits claiming that is exactly what will happen.
Bryan Fischer is an extreme Religious Right commentator, spokesman for the American Family Association and talk-show host. He specializes in serving up a daily dose of vitriolic hate against gays and lesbians, non-Christians, progressives and virtually anyone who disagrees with his fanatical interpretation of the Constitution and the Bible.