TC Equality
  | An Investigative Report

 

Christian conservatives oppose hate-crimes protection for gays and lesbians
by Michael Stone

Conservative Christian leaders are opposing a bill that would provide federal hate-crimes protection for the gay and lesbian community. The hate crimes legislation would provide special funding to state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, and expand protection for the first time to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and the mentally and physically disabled.

he Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named for a gay man killed for his sexual orientation in Wyoming, would allow the Justice Department to assist in the prosecution of hate crimes committed against minorities that result in death or serious injury.

Christian conservatives have raised fears that pastors would be prosecuted for inciting hate crimes if they preach against homosexuality, despite assurances that the law only targets physical violence. To stop the legislation, a few Christian leaders have suggested repealing all hate-crimes law, which would undo historic protections for race and even religion. Many Christian conservatives claim hate-crimes laws are unconstitutional.

Focus on the Family, a large and influential body of Christian conservatives, opposes the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the legislation, but does not favor repealing all hate-crime laws as unconstitutional. Focus on the Family, as do many main stream conservative Christians, sees sexual orientation and gender identity as changeable, unlike race. They believe it is a choice of lifestyle, rather than a fixed, determined characteristic. Indeed, some conservative Christians even believe homosexuality can be "cured" through prayer, a personal relationship with Jesus, or some other such nonsense.

Many conservative Christians — the CADC (Christian Anti-Defamation Commission), American Family Association, and Traditional Values Coalition, among them — fear that passage of the hate crimes bill will make their teaching about homosexuality illegal; Christian teaching that homosexuality is an abomination and that gays and lesbians are a particularly nasty type of sinner. Indeed, conservative Christians go so far as to say the bill would give protection to pedophiles. Some Christian bloggers have even gone so far as to call the act the Pedophile Protection Act.

The charge of pedophilia is a standard tactic of the religious right. Their comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia or bestiality is a rhetoric of bigotry and hatred that is worn thread bare. The time for hate to hind between the skirts of religion is over.

Not all Christians are homophobic; not all Christians want to deny protection to the GLBT community. Yet some Christians are homophobic, and some would deny human beings basic protection under the law. It is exactly because there are such people that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act is long over due.

Also by this author: Religion: Are Christians responsible for anti-gay bullying?




Support
 

In Support of the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance
City of Traverse City

FacebookOctober 04, 2010—At the regular City Commission meeting Mary Van Valin grew emotional as she stood at a podium to address the Traverse City Commission. "I have a dream that this community will stand on the side of love, not fear," Valin said Monday night.

Van Valin got her wish when the City Commissioners unanimously approved the Equal Opportunity Ordinance.

Equal Opportunity for the residents of Traverse City will be decided at the ballot box on November 8, 2011. Please vote.

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Oppose
 

Opposing the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance
Paul Nepote, et all

October 05, 2010—Paul Nepote filed notice of a Referendum Petition that he circulated for signatures, which reads: We, the undersigned registered voters of the City of Traverse City, under and by virtue of the authority granted by Chapter XV of the Traverse City Charter, do hereby protest against the following ordinance taking effect and petition your submission of said ordinance to the registered voters of the City of Traverse City, County of Grand Traverse, State of Michigan.

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Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance

No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identity, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation.

Equal Opportunity for the residents of Traverse City will be decided at the ballot box on November 8, 2011. Please vote.

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Protect Liberty and Justice for All

October 06, 2010—The “TC Equality” group and this web site came into being more than a year ago for the purpose of preserving and protecting equal opportunity and equal protection in Traverse City. We appreciate your assistance.

Please share your time and resources freely. Help support the cost of protecting and preserving equal opportunity in our community. Every dollar you are able to contribute, and any time you are able to donate is deeply appreciated.


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