Bush to Veto ‘Hate’ Bill
White House, Christian pastors say hate crime laws curb free speech
THE WHITE HOUSE said President Bush will veto the entire defense authorization bill if so-called “hate crimes” legislation contained in the bill approved by the House and pending in the Senate remains.
“The qualifications [in the bill] are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate crime elements,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto.
“The proposals they are talking about are not sufficiently narrow.”
A coalition of religious leaders, including black Christian pastors, have lobbied the White House to reject the amendment, saying it could lead to suppression of free speech and religious expression.
“The bill is not about crime prevention or even civil rights,” said Chuck Colson, a former aide to President Richard Nixon who now runs a Christian ministry to prisoners. “It’s about outlawing peaceful speech—speech that asserts that homosexual behavior is morally wrong.”
The proposal would add homosexuals to the list of blacks and women who
are “protected” under current law. It would allow federal thought police to decide if the victim was mugged not only for money but because of “hate.” It federalizes local laws, which are dealt with strongly at the local level, resulting in a vast expansion of power in Washington. Congress has yet to define a “love crime.”
(Issue #34, August 20, 2007)