A hate crime is a crime of violence that is motivated by hatred of the group to which the victim belongs. Usually, the perpetrator and the victim are strangers to each other. For example, gay bashing involves a violent homophobe physically attacking a victim from the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. Typically, the goal is twofold:
To express hatred against a random member of that community, and
To terrorize the entire community of which the victim is a member.
Expressions of hatred and violence. These men think that should be able to continue to express their religious beliefs in this way. What happened to the example of Love and acceptance that was Jesus Christ?
A hate crime is not hate speech alone. Although, I would suggest that even hate speech is inappropriate from a man of God.
According to the FBI there were almost 1,300 hate crimes based on sexual orientation in 2007.
Among the 2007 hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation:
|59% of the offenses victimized gay males;|
|13% victimized lesbians|
|25% were reported as anti-homosexual without identifying the sex of the victim.|
|1.8% were anti-heterosexual|
|1.6% were anti-bisexual.|
Midland man, Bridgeport pastor among plaintiffs in civil rights suit challenging Hate Crimes Act
By LaNia Coleman | The Bay City Times
February 02, 2010, 10:46PM
Three mid-Michigan pastors and the Midland-based leader of an organization known for its opposition to gay rights are challenging a new federal hate crime law.
Gary Glenn, of Midland, is president of the American Family Association
The civil rights suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bay City by Midland resident Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan; and the Revs. Rene B. Ouellette, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Bridgeport Township; Jim Combs, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Waterford Township; and Levon R. Yuille, pastor of The Bible Church in Ypsilanti.
The suit names U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. as the defendant and targets a law that makes it a federal offense to assault someone because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
Glenn and the pastors claim the law makes it a crime for them to preach against homosexuality and it therefore infringes on their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, expressive association and free exercise of religion.
The suit also alleges the law creates an Orwellian society, setting up a special class of citizens who receive special protections.
The plaintiffs list as statements of fact, God’s word on homosexuality.
“According to the Bible, homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity that are intrinsically disordered ... (and) Homosexuality is an illicit lust forbidden by God,” the complaint reads.
As opponents of “homosexual activism, the homosexual lifestyle and the homosexual agenda,” the ministers and their churches could be subjected to unfair and increased scrutiny as well as federal investigations authorized under the language of the law, the plaintiffs claim.
The Times could not reach the plaintiffs for comment late Tuesday.