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McCotter vote on "hate crimes" threatens religious free speech

September 19, 2005

Family group: McCotter vote on “hate crimes” threatens religious free speech

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s vote to give special federal legal status and protection to individuals involved in homosexual activity violates the concept of equal protection under law and threatens the religious free speech rights of Americans who believe such behavior is morally wrong, a statewide traditional values group charged Monday.

The American Family Association of Michigan, in a letter to McCotter and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, blasted McCotter for being “one of only thirty Republican congressmen nationwide to join Democrats in supporting an amendment to establish special enhanced prison sentences for crimes allegedly motivated by disapproval of homosexual behavior.”

The amendment — offered by Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, to HR 3132, The Children’s Safety Act of 2005 — would “create a federal offense for violence motivated by the actual or perceived…sexual orientation…of the victim.” Republican House members opposed the amendment, 194 to 30, while House Democrats supported it, 192 to 5.

Roll call vote here.
Associated Press story here.
Focus on the Family statement here.

“Rep. McCotter’s vote violated the concept of equal protection, providing the outrageous result that a criminal who assaults a pregnant mother, a small child, or a senior citizen would be punished less severely than someone who attacks a grown man, solely because that grown man chooses to engage in homosexual behavior with other men,” AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn wrote.

“Rep. McCotter’s vote also puts at risk the religious free speech rights of Christians and others who believe homosexual behavior is destructive and morally wrong,” Glenn wrote. “The language Rep. McCotter supports adding to federal law threatens to make any public expression of opposition to homosexual behavior, even from the pulpit, a crime, and has already led to the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of Christians and others in Europe, Canada, and under state law, even in the United States,” Glenn wrote.

Glenn cited numerous examples of Christians and others being threatened, intimidated, and even prosecuted under “hate crime” laws that include so-called “sexual orientation” among motivating factors that trigger enhanced criminal penalties:

* Baptist Press reported in March: “A Catholic bishop in Canada is under investigation by a government agency for condemning ‘gay marriage,’ and American conservatives say such infringements on religious freedom could be headed to the U.S. The bishop, Fred Henry of Calgary, is being investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for comments he made about homosexuality in…a letter to parishioners.”

* Catholics in Canada issued the following warning after Parliament approved legislation identical to that supported by Rep. McCotter: “The Catholic Civil Rights League, which was one of the main opponents of homosexual hate crime Bill C-250, has warned of possible persecution due to the bill’s passage. With the passage of Bill C-250, Canada has now embarked upon a course of criminalization of dissent, says the Catholic group.”

* The Christian Post reported in January: “Four Christian men were charged with ‘hate crime’ felon(ies) when in fact they were peacefully protesting a homosexual street event on October 10, 2004 in Philadelphia. …The four adult defendants, who face a total of 47 years in prison if convicted of the three felonies and five misdemeanors, pled not guilty.”

* Catholic World News reported last year: “The Rev. Ake Green, the pastor of a Swedish Pentecostal church in Kalmar, Sweden, has been sentenced to one month in prison for inciting hatred against homosexuals. Green was prosecuted in January for ‘hate speech against homosexuals’ for a sermon he preached last summer citing Biblical references to homosexuality. Sweden has a ‘hate crimes’ law that forbids criticism of homosexuality.

* The Irish Times of Dublin reported in 2003: “Clergy and bishops who distribute the Vatican’s latest publication describing homosexual activity as ‘evil’ could face prosecution under incitement to hatred legislation. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has warned that the language in the 12-page booklet is so strong it could be…in violation of the 1989 Incitement to Hatred Act. Those convicted under the Act can face jail terms of up to six months. …Under the Act literature which is threatening, abusive or insulting, linked with the intent of stirring up hatred, is illegal.”

* The Daily Telegraph of London in 2003 reported: “A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday. …Cheshire Police have said that they are to investigate his comments, made in the local paper, the Chester Chronicle, after receiving a complaint that his views may incite people to turn against homosexuals.”

McCotter support for Conyers
at odds with Bush, GOP platform

Glenn wrote that McCotter’s support for the Conyers amendment also puts him at odds with both President George W. Bush and the Republican Party platform, both of which oppose creating special protected class status under law based on so-called “sexual orientation.” The GOP platform on which Bush was first elected stated: “We do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law.”

Glenn also wrote that McCotter “put the religious freedoms of millions of Americans at risk in order to provide special enhanced federal prison sentences for a category of crimes that, while always highly publicized by the news media, are extremely rare.”

Glenn cited the FBI’s latest report that in 2003 that a nationwide total of only 1,479 individuals were victims of so-called “hate crimes” allegedly motivated by disapproval of homosexual behavior, a number that represents a tiny and extremely rare total of less than 2/100ths of one percent of the roughly 9 million Americans estimated to be involved in homosexual behavior.

By comparison that same year, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs — which includes the Triangle Foundation, a Detroit-based homosexual advocacy group — reported a record-high 6,523 incidents of “gay-on-gay” domestic violence in only eleven U.S. cities and regions plus the city of Toronto.

Also by comparison,, a pro-homosexual web site, reported in 2003: “One in five urban gay men is battered by his partner, a new study by Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies shows.” The Georgetown study suggests that nearly two million men alone — not counting females involved in homosexual activity — are victims each year of violence at the hands of their own homosexual lovers.

“Simple math — two million men who are victims of ‘gay-on-gay’ domestic violence, versus a tiny 2/100ths of one percent who are victims of alleged ‘hate crimes’ — indicates that it’s literally a thousand times more likely that an individual involved in homosexual activity will be violently attacked by one of his own ‘gay’ sex partners than by someone who ‘hates’ such individuals,” Glenn wrote.

Editors of the National Lesbian & Gay Domestic Violence Newsletter wrote in their book, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: “The probability of violence occurring in a gay couple is mathematically double the probability of that in a heterosexual couple…we believe as many as 650,000 gay men may be victims of domestic violence each year in the United States.”
p. 12.

“(D)omestic violence may affect and poison as many as 50 percent of gay male couples,” the book estimates.

Community United Against Violence, a homosexual activist group in San Francisco, warns individuals involved in homosexual activity: “The truth of the matter is, you are much more likely to be injured by someone you love than by a gay-basher on the street. In fact, research indicates that between 25-33 percent of us will experience domestic abuse in our lifetimes.”

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