Sen. Jim DeMint
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., today confirmed he will fight the “hate crimes” legislation pending in the U.S. Senate and, if necessary, will launch a filibuster against the plan that critics have dubbed the “Pedophile Protection Act.”
His Washington office confirmed to WND his position today, shortly after several Christian activists who have been rallying opposition to the proposal said they had received word he would help.
The proposal, called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, already has passed the House 249-175. But analysts contend it would designate homosexuals and others with an alternative sexual lifestyle choice for special protections under federal law.
At the same time, it would leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their statements, especially biblical condemnations of homosexuality, be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person.
The “hate crimes” bill in the Senate is the target of an organized letter-writing campaign that has already generated more than 560,000 individual letters sent by Fed Ex to all 100 U.S. senators.
The effort, organized by WND columnist Janet Porter, who also heads the Faith2Action Christian ministry, permits activists to send individually addressed letters to all 100 senators over their own “signature” for only $10.95.
It was designated 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.”
“He told me, ‘Rick, I’m used to being beaten up by the Left,'” Scarborough said.
Scarborough also 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 today 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.
But he noted the Old Testament story of King David, while still a youth, taking on the Philistines’ champion Goliath.
“For every other warrior, the battle against the Philistines was unwinnable,” he said. “David dropped what he was doing and when he did the whole nation got its courage.”
“Jim DeMint is going to give a lot of courage to other senators out there,” Scarborough said.
Just today, a court opinion from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that it is all right for a government unit, like the city of San Francisco, to describe Christian beliefs as “hate.”
In that case, authorities in San Francisco who called the beliefs of the Catholic Church “hateful,” “callous,” and an “insult” – and urged members to disobey them – were told by a panel of judges it’s all right to express such hate because it serves a “secular” purpose.
Barack Obama recently promised homosexual murder victim Matthew Shepard’s mother fast action in the U.S. Senate to approve the bill. Judy Shepard visited the White House to lobby for Senate approval after it cleared the House with opposition from many Republicans.
The White House issued an official comment on the meeting: “The President thanked Ms. Shepard for her work on the hate crimes bill and reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the Senate finalize the bill and act swiftly.
Sources working with senators opposing the legislation say the 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.