Beliefnet
Steven Waldman

Coral Ridge Ministries is working hard to defeat the “Hate Crimes” legislation being considered in Congress. A recent email declared:

“If we don’t stop it now, it will become law, and that will mean a loss of liberty for Christians who stand up for the biblical truth that homosexual conduct is sin.”

The bill, they’re implying, would criminalize anyone who talks about Biblical injunctions against homosexuality. In other words, they seem to be conflating “hate speech” and “hate crimes.”
I’m really baffled by this. I just read the legislation and unless I’m missing something, the law protects gays against physical violence and has nothing to do with hate speech.
Specifically, it creates a federal crime if the assailant attempts to or “willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device” on the basis of sexual orientation (as well as race, gender, national origin or “perceived or actual religion”).
Is this really what religious conservatives want to be focused on: blocking a law that prevents violence on the basis of sexual orientation?

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