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'Pedophile Protection Act': What's next for hate crimes?
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 05/10/2009 @ 12:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas
WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider Tuesday a hate crimes bill already approved by the House that, critics say, provides special protections for pedophiles and others with alternative “gender identities” such as voyeurism and exhibitionism.
WND first reported on what has become widely known as “The Pedophile Protection Act” last week, raising nationwide alarm that has already generated more than 300,000 individual letters of protest to members of the U.S. Senate.
By special arrangement through WND, for only $10.95 members of the public can send 100 individually addressed letters to each senator by overnight mail. Each letter is individually “signed” by the sender. The letters ask for a written response and call for opposition to the bill, including by filibuster if necessary.
On Friday, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, 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,” U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert said last week on a radio program with WND columnist Janet Porter. She’s the chief of the Faith2Action Christian ministry and has coordinated a campaign to allow citizens to send overnight letters to members of the U.S. Senate expressing opposition to the plan.
Already well over 3,000 people have utilized the procedures and more than 300,000 letters have been dispatched to members of the Senate.
“It’s entirely in the hands of your listeners and people across the country,” Gohmert told Porter. “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.”
WND has reported multiple times on the developing legislation – a plan that failed under President Bush when he determined it was unnecessary and most likely unconstitutional.
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, where it was approved 249-175, to correct some of the failings, including his repeated requests for definitions in the bill for terms such as “sexual orientation.”
Majority Democrats refused, he said. He said that leaves the definition up to a standard definition in the medical field, which includes hundreds of “philias” and “isms” and would be protected.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., a “hate crimes” supporter, confirmed that 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. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule…”
President 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.
Akers’ analysis said the bill would result in the federalization of “virtually every sexual crime in the United States.” And he said it appears to be part of an agenda that would relegate pro-family and traditional marriage advocates into the ranks of “terrorists.” Critics also have expressed alarm because in committee hearings Democrats admitted that a Christian pastor could be prosecuted under the law if he spoke biblically against homosexuality, someone heard the comments and then committed a crime.
“Under [the plan] the speech of a criminal defendant and the mere membership of the defendant in a given group may be used as evidence of his or her biased motive,” Akers said.
He said there’s already an effort afoot in the U.S. to list those pro-family organizations “alongside several neo-Nazi groups … to create guilt by the artificial manufactured appearance of association.”
During arguments in the House while the plan was being adopted, lawmakers pointed out the representatives were voting for protection for “all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or ‘paraphilias’ listed by the American Psychiatric Association.”
Porter cited the amendment offering from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in committee that was very simple: “The term sexual orientation as used in this act or any amendments to this act does not include pedophilia.”
But majority Democrats refused to accept it.
“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.”
Republicans in the House also attempted to amend the bill to offer hate crimes protection for U.S. military veterans who were attacked because of their service. Democrats unanimously rejected the amendment.
“I believe this action, organized by Janet Porter, has generated more personal letters to members of Congress faster than any other effort of its kind,” said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, which has facilitated the delivery through Fed Ex. “I don’t think the U.S. Senate has ever received 250,000 individually addressed and individually signed letters in 72 hours before. It will be most interesting to watch the impact.”
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