US District Judge Dismissing Lawsuit Challenging Hate Crime Law is a Mistake, Pro-family Group Says
(Harrisburg) – Yesterday in a 26-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This law, signed by President Obama on October 28, 2009, will supposedly only target those who are accused of violent crimes against homosexuals, bisexuals or transgenders, placing the full power of the US Department of Justice into funding and investigating such allegations and increasing the sentence of those found guilty of such ‘bias’ crimes. However, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide pro-family group, notes such restrictions have not proven the case and Christians have been targeted for preaching the Gospel at homosexual ‘pride’ events.
“We need only look back at Philadelphia on October 10, 2004 and see what the results of so-called hate crimes laws can be. Less than two years after passage of Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law, eleven Christians were arrested and charged with a hate crime for simply preaching the Gospel, reading Scripture and singing choruses at the homosexual event Outfest. The only violence threatened was from the homosexual activists who tried to block the Christians’ message, yet their actions were ignored by the police,” Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA recalled.
Shortly after the passage of Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law Gramley and Fran Bevan, president of Pennsylvania Eagle Forum, as individuals, challenged the Pennsylvania hate crimes law. They, as Gary Glenn (AFA of Michigan) and the three pastors who challenged the federal hate crimes law, were found not to have standing in challenging the constitutionality of that law. However, after the arrest and eventual acquittal of the eleven Christians in Philadelphia, they were able to successfully challenge the law.
“FBI statistics show that there is not a problem with rampant attacks on those who suffer from same-sex attraction, gender identity disorder or those who seek to have sex with both male and female partners. It is much more dangerous to be African American or Jewish in the US than to identify as homosexual,” noted Gramley.
The AFA of PA maintains that there is no need for hate crimes laws as there are already laws on the books against murder, assault, etc., etc.
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