Religious Right Leaders Leaders Not Telling the Truth About Hate Crimes Law

Experts Available To Rebut False Charges That Law Would Silence Pastors’ Preaching

The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on LGBT inclusive hate crimes legislation with bipartisan support. The bill would allow federal law enforcement to assist in the prosecution of violent hate crimes when local officials cannot or will not take action.

Anti-gay groups are so eager to prevent any legal protection for gay Americans—even in a law that targets only violent crimes—that they are waging an intense campaign of exaggerations, mistruths, and outright lies about how hate crimes legislation will affect Americans. They’ve dishonestly claimed that the bill will lead to the “end of free speech” and that pastors will be arrested for preaching against homosexuality in the pulpit. None of this is true, and they know it.

In fact, the hate crimes bill pending before Congress has been carefully crafted to protect free speech and religious liberty for all Americans.

People For the American Way has experts ready to counter Right Wing spin against hate crimes legislation.

Rev. Steven Baines is People For the American Way’s Director of Interfaith Outreach. He runs PFAW’s Faith Action Network, and he led the effort to recruit clergy to support fairness in the successful 2004 campaign to remove a discriminatory anti-gay ordinance from Cincinnati’s city charter.

Rev. Ron Stief is the Director of PFAW’s West Coast Regional Office. Prior to joining PFAW, Rev. Stief directed the Office of Public Life and Social Policy for United Church of Christ.

Peter Montgomery is PFAW’s Vice President for Communications and an expert on the Right Wing attacks on LGBT rights.

Gregg Haifley is PFAW’s Deputy Director of Public Policy and point person on LGBT legislative issues.

To arrange an interview, please contact Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter at media@pfaw.org or (202) 467-4999.

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