President Obama’s “hate crimes” law, one of the president’s early fulfillments of a campaign promise to homosexual lobbyists who backed his 2008 campaign, is heading for dangerous new waters as a lawsuit challenging it as being unconstitutional has moved to the appellate court level.
Officials with the Thomas More Law Center say they have appealed their lawsuit over the “hate crimes” law to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, raising pointed questions including why will the law attack Bible-following Christians who follow its instructions.
“According to the Bible, which Plaintiffs promote through their religious activities, homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity that are intrinsically disordered. The Apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares that those who engage in homosexual acts ‘shall not inherit the kingdom of God,’ stating further, ‘And such were some of you…,'” the appeal explains.
“Plaintiffs believe and profess that homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God, who said to His people Israel, ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.’ In every place that the Bible refers to homosexuality, the emphasis is upon the perversion of sexuality. The person engaging in homosexual behavior is guilty of ‘leaving the natural use of the woman,’ meaning that his behavior is ‘against nature,’ and thus contrary to God’s will.”
“In Old Testament times in Israel, God dealt severely with those who engaged in homosexual behavior. He warned His people through Moses, ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” the appeal continued.
“Consequently, Plaintiffs have ‘willfully’ engaged in, and will continue to ‘willfully’ engage in, conduct that is proscribed by the Hate Crimes Act because the Act does not limit its reach to physical acts of violence, but expressly includes within its reach so-called ‘hate’ speech and ‘hateful words,” thereby subjecting plaintiffs to federal investigation and punishment.”
U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa
The lawsuit, which has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was brought on behalf of Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, and Pastors Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette and James Combs.
It was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after Attorney General Eric Holder claimed the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
The complaint contends that the “hate crimes” law violates the plaintiffs’ civil rights, since it opens Christians to being the target of federal investigations, grand juries and even charges for opposing or publicly criticizing the homosexual lifestyle and “gay” activism.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include individuals who already have faced accusations by homosexual advocates that they bear responsibility for the actions of others for no other reason than their agreement with biblical condemnations of homosexuality.
The lawsuit cited the death of Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old Detroit man allegedly the victim of a “hate crime” because of his “sexual orientation.” In that case, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force “blamed … Plaintiff Glenn’s ‘homophobic rants’ for causing his death.”
According to the lawsuit, the homosexual activist said, “It is appalling hypocrisy for these forces to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos.”
Anthos also was cited by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., as evidence of the need
to extend federal “hate crimes” legislation to include “sexual orientation” as a privileged classification.
But the lawsuit said police and a medical examiner determined that Anthos died of natural causes.
The complaint also said, “The former director of policy for the Triangle Foundation, a Michigan-based homosexual lobby group that supported the Hate Crimes Act, publicly stated, ‘We personally
believe that the AFA may support the murder of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.'”
Such statements, combined with the “hate crimes” law that now exists, provide a “tool” of intimidation for federal officials, including Holder, “to abuse their positions of power to stifle political opinion and opposition to the homosexual agenda,” the complaint explains.
“The Hate Crimes Act was clearly intended to intimidate Christians and their religious leaders into remaining silent concerning their religious beliefs that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin,” the law center said today.
Its brief tells the 6th Circuit, “This statute is all about elevating certain persons (homosexuals) to a protected class under federal law based on nothing more than their choice to have sex with persons of the same gender, while marginalizing strong religious opposition to this immoral choice.”
In fact, during congressional debate on the issue, supporters admitted that a homosexual attacking a Christian pastor would be protected from the law’s enhanced penalties that would apply should a Christian pastor attack a homosexual.
“Under the guise of enforcing ‘niceness’ and promoting ‘tolerance,’ homosexual advocacy groups have mobilized their financial power to purchase political clout which they now use to shut down any criticism of their deviant lifestyle. The truth is they are one of the most intolerant groups in our society and viciously attack anyone who opposes their point of view,” said Richard Thompson, chief of the law center.
“The sole purpose of this law is to use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically based religious belief that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin.”
The center confirmed that statistics from homosexual advocacy groups reveal that the greatest threat of violence to homosexuals comes not from Christians but from other homosexuals.
The brief also explains how the attacks on Christians already are being strategized.
At a forum for the homosexual community held by the ACLU of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, stated, “We’re very eager to enforce the act.”
The brief says another federal prosecutor said, “We are so excited about this new law and the enforcement possibilities it provides for us.”
Robert Muise, the senior trial counsel for the law center, is handling the case, and said, “This new federal law promotes two Orwellian concepts. First, it creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And secondly, it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution. Consequently, government officials are claiming the power to decide which thoughts are criminal under federal law and which are not.”
The law center revealed that all 50 states already have criminal laws punishing violence against others, Holder himself admitted there is no evidence “hate crimes” were unpunished at the state level, and in 2008, of the 1.38 million violent crimes reported, 243 dealt with the victim’s sexual orientation.
The Hate Crimes Act was dubbed by its critics as the “Pedophile Protection Act” after an amendment to explicitly prohibit pedophiles from being protected by the act was defeated by majority Democrats. In fact, during congressional debate, supporters argued that all “philias,” or alternative sexual lifestyles, should be protected.
Yuille is the pastor of The Bible Church in Michigan and national director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress. He hosts a radio program and “is often warned by his Canadian listeners that he will prosecuted under the new U.S. hate-crimes law for his public ministry.”
Ouellette is pastor of First Baptist in Bridgeport, Mich., with about 7,000 members, and the author of five books.
Combs is lead pastor of Faith Church, The Point Church, The Rock Church and The River Church, with about 10,000 members.
Obama signed the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act” in October 2009 after Democrats strategically attached it to a “must-pass” $680 billion defense-appropriations bill.
The law cracks down on any acts that could be linked to criticism of homosexuality or even the “perception” of homosexuality. As Congress debated it, there were assurances it would not be used to crack down on speech.
Obama boasted about the “hate crimes” bill when he signed it into law.
“After more than a decade, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are,” he said.
The bill signed by Obama was opposed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which called it a “menace” to civil liberties. The commission argued the law allows federal authorities to bring charges against individuals even if they’ve already been cleared in a state court.