Why 'hate crimes' bill is stalled in Senate

Activists mystified as to why approval is taking so long

Posted: June 08, 2009
9:39 pm Eastern
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Could more than 560,000 letters delivered to the U.S. Senate protesting a "hate crimes" bill critics have called "The Pedophile Protection Act" have resulted in second thoughts among Democrats?

Even activists favoring approval of the bill are puzzled over why the Senate has taken so long dealing with the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which easily passed the House last month by a vote of 249-175.

For several weeks, the Senate companion bill, S. 909, has been sitting in committee without action.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., told homosexual activists last week Senate leaders are still debating the best way to pass the bill.

"People have got to start lobbying," said Frank. "They should have been doing that already."

But one side in the debate already has been lobbying against a bill that was once deemed a foregone conclusion without any visible Republican opposition.

It's not too late to take advantage of the opportunity to overnight letters of opposition to the hate crimes bill to all 100 U.S. senators for only $10.95.

In an effort led by Janet Porter, a WND columnist and head of Faith2Action, some 560,000 individual letters have been delivered to members of the U.S. Senate protesting the bill.

The campaign permits activists to send individually addressed letters to all 100 senators over their own "signature" for only $10.95.

As a result of the unique lobbying effort, last week the first opposition to the bill emerged, when Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., confirmed he will fight the "hate crimes" legislation and, if necessary, will launch a filibuster against the plan.

Opponents say the bill would designate homosexuals and others with an alternative sexual lifestyle choice for special protections under federal law. At the same time, many believe that by criminalizing thought, it would lead eventually to Christian ministers and others being prosecuted for their beliefs and statements, especially biblical condemnations of homosexuality.

The bill was dubbed by opponents as "The Pedophile Protection Act" after Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, proposed an amendment during the proposal's trek through the U.S. House. He suggested, "The term sexual orientation as used in this act or any amendments to this act does not include pedophilia."

But majority Democrats refused to go along.

Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, a former judge, said that statement of intent would go a long way towards providing pedophiles with the protection they would want from the law for their sexual proclivity.

"Having reviewed cases as an appellate judge, I know that when the legislature has the chance to include a definition and refuses, then what we look at is the plain meaning of those words," explained Gohmert. "The plain meaning of sexual orientation is anything to which someone is orientated. That could include exhibitionism, it could include necrophilia (sexual arousal/activity with a corpse) ... it could include urophilia (sexual arousal associated with urine), voyeurism. You see someone spying on you changing clothes and you hit them, they've committed a misdemeanor, you've committed a federal felony under this bill. It is so wrong."

In fact, one supporter of the "hate crimes," Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., confirmed that very worry, saying: "This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these 'philias' and fetishes and 'ism's' that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are."

Rick Scarborough of Vision America told WND DeMint had assured him he understood the issue and would use every delay tactic available to him as a senator.

"And if it gets to the floor," Scarborough said, "If it's necessary, he would filibuster. He said he would do that as a last resort."

Scarborough said James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, also has agreed to work against the "hate crimes" plan, and it may be addressed on a portion of his radio program soon. Scarborough said the campaign will contact pastors in coming days, asking them to preach about the possible loss of their right to preach on biblical truths and what that would mean.

The endorsement by DeMint is a huge turnaround for the campaign against "hate crimes," which before had not seen a single senator stand up and announce a formal opposition to the plan.

"Everyone else that we talked to either said or implied that it is a lost cause," Scarborough said.

Sources working with senators opposing the legislation say the Fed Ex letter-writing campaign has shaken up the dynamics of the debate.

"This bill was supposed to sail through the Senate, but it suddenly has become much more controversial as a result of all these letters," one source said.

Gohmert and King said the only chance to defeat the legislation was for a massive outpouring of opposition from the American people.

"If you guys don't raise enough stink there's no chance of stopping it," Gohmert said on a radio program with Porter. "It's entirely in the hands of your listeners and people across the country. If you guys put up a strong enough fight, that will give backbone enough to the 41 or 42 in the Senate to say we don't want to have our names on that."

An analysis by Shawn D. Akers, policy analyst with Liberty Counsel said the proposal, formally known as H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act bill in the House and S. 909 in the Senate, would create new federal penalties against those whose "victims" were chosen based on an "actual or perceived ... sexual orientation, gender identity."

Gohmert warned Porter during the interview that even her introduction of him, and references to the different sexual orientations, could be restricted if the plan becomes law.

"You can't talk like that once this becomes law," he said.

He said the foundational problem with the bill is that it is based on lies: It assumes there's an epidemic of crimes in the United States – especially actions that cross state lines – that is targeting those alternative sexual lifestyles.

"When you base a law on lies, you're going to have a bad law," he said. "This 'Pedophilia Protection Act,' a 'hate crimes' bill, is based on the representation that there's a epidemic of crimes based on bias and prejudice. It turns out there are fewer crimes now than there were 10 years ago."

He said he fought in committee and in the House to correct some of the failings, including his repeated requests for definitions in the bill for terms such as "sexual orientation."

Obama, supported strongly during his campaign by homosexual advocates, appears ready to respond to their desires.

"I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance," he said.

But Gohmert pointed out that if an exhibitionist flashes a woman, and she responds by slapping him with her purse, he has probably committed a misdemeanor while she has committed a federal felony hate crime.

"That's how ludicrous this situation is," Gohmert said.

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