Hate-Crimes Bill Passes, Freedoms of Speech, Religion at Stake
In a post almost two years ago, I wrote about H.R. 1592, a piece of freedom-threatening hate-crimes legislation that was quietly making its way through Congress. Fortunately, after it passed the House, the Senate version of the bill (S. 1105) failed. Unfortunately, however, the legislation is back as H.R. 1913, the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” and it’s on the fast track to becoming law.
Once again being carried by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, backed by 95 co-sponsors — the vast majority of whom are Democrats.
While purportedly designed “to provide federal assistance to states, local jurisdictions and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes,” the measure has implications far beyond race, including freedom of speech and religion.
Those implications were summed up by Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) in a short speech (see video above right) on the House floor two years ago. Below is a partial transcript of her summary:
“Violence produced by hate is already outlawed. Why would we as a nation want to divide our American citizens into various categories of ‘more worthy’ or ‘less worthy’ of whatever protection the law can give them? What happened to the great ideal this nation was founded on of equal protection under law?
“The hate-crimes bill will chill the First Amendment rights of religious groups. This hate-crimes bill will chill the First Amendment rights of religious groups, and the government will be required to prove the suspect’s thoughts as a category of the victim involved in the crime.
“Religious groups may become the subject of criminal investigations in order to determine the suspect’s religious beliefs, membership in religious organizations or past statements about person’s associated with specific categories. Religious leaders will be chilled from expressing their religious views for fear of involvement in the criminal justice system.
“This hate-crimes bill will result in unequal justice for all and the restriction of one of our ideals that has made our nation great, free speech.”
If you cherish your First Amendment freedoms and don’t want to be subject to the whims of the thought police, CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TODAY and demand that they kill this legislation immediately.