Legislation to create a new category of crime for actions said to be motivated by prejudice based on specific characteristics, including "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," could get a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as Monday .
Democrats have attached an amendment to a Defense spending bill that would create federally protected "class status" for homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, "transgender" and "transsexual" people. "You're essentially creating a civil right based on immoral and changeable behavior, and that's a bad precedent to set in the law," said Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth.
The House of Representatives passed an identical version of the legislation May 3 by a vote of 237 to 180.
Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Democrats are using a political tactic by tacking hate-crimes legislation onto Defense spending. "The president has already indicated he would veto a hate-crimes bill," she said. "They've inserted this bill as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, and that puts the president in a difficult position."
"People should call the Senate," Barber said, "and let their senators know that this hate-crimes legislation is dangerous, that it can have a slippery slope effect, and really can oppress freedom of religion and freedom of speech. It's entirely unnecessary because the Constitution and 14th Amendment guarantee equal protection under the law."
Call your Senators and urge them to vote against the Kennedy-Smith Amendment, Amendment 2067, to the Department of Defense Reauthorization Bill.
Senate Switchboard: 202-224-3121
(Source: Citizen Link; July 12, 2007)