The time is here. The slim Democratic-control Senate is expected to vote on S. 1105-Matthew Shepard Act. Chris Johnson at HRC Back Story reports that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a cloture motion to force a vote on S. 1105.We need 60 votes in order to override the objection filed by Sen.John MCcain.The hate crimes bill was tacked onto the defense authorization bill to get it pass our misguided controlled President Bush.
Lead sponsor of the Senate bill, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) released a statement of his floor speech urging passage of S. 1105. I would like to note here that there are Republicans supporting this bill, not just Democrats.
As we prepare for a showdown over this bill, expect the scare tactics and nonsense from the so-called oppress Christians, who fear their rights are being taken aways.
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is at it again with the nonsense (where was he and his black bigoted Friends at on free Jena 6 march?). Read his latest quotes on the hate crimes bill in a bearing false witness tone/words:
A black conservative leader is calling on Christians to contact their U.S. senators and ask them to vote against a bill that would give special rights to homosexuals and take away the rights of Christians.
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND). Peterson was recently in Washington, DC, to lobby senators to vote against Senate Bill 1105 -- a bill that would provide federal assistance for the prosecution of any crime that is "motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim." The legislation is sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts).
According to Peterson, if S.B. 1105 ultimately passes, it would greatly affect Christians' free-speech rights. For example, Peterson contends that under the new provisions, Christian pastors could be forced to perform same-sex "marriages" -- and if they refuse, Petersen is convinced they will be criminalized and fined.
Now he know he sound like a drama queen, and a lieing one at that. There many racist christian groups and white supremacist groups that still have their free speech and rights. They march in parades, and register their groups. So where is he getting this from? He has presented no where in the bill where their rights's of speech is objected.
Justice MH: These are the type of blacks, white Evangelical conservative Christians love to use for their agenda. Sylvia Rhue of the National Black Justice Coalition and Cornel West have a piece in the Boston Globe that shows how hate can be disguise in a religious sheet of hypocrisy and lies:
Unfortunately, some clergy across the nation have joined together to oppose this bill in an aggressive and divisive manner. For instance, conservative African-American leaders - most notably Bishop Harry Jackson of Maryland's Hope Christian Church - have been inundating the media and faith communities with the message that this legislation will allow police to storm into worship services and arrest clergy if they speak against being gay. They make the incendiary allegation that the bill will create "thought crimes" by punishing people for thinking ill of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
The truth is that the Matthew Shepard Act protects all First Amendment rights. And, although that is a given, this bill goes out of its way to protect the free speech of ministers. Those pastors who wish to continue condemning and dehumanizing the gay community will be free to do so.
The hate crimes bill provides resources for the investigation of violent actions - not beliefs, thoughts, or words. The proposed federal statute does not punish nor prohibit free expression of one's religious beliefs. As University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey R. Stone recently concluded, "The argument of the pastors that the proposed legislation in any way threatens their right to preach their version of the Gospel is, to be frank, ridiculous."
...These preachers don't care to hear the thousands of stories of lives and communities scarred by antigay violence. And, conveniently, those who bring up the reality that the Matthew Shepard Act is a constitutional and important means to prevent antigay violence are labeled by these clergy as "anti-Christian." The good intentions of this legislation have been greeted by malice by these manipulators of fact.
The efforts of antigay preachers and their supporters is not the way to create the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a "Beloved Community" - where we all strive to treat each other with respect and compassion.
Justice MH: If they can e-mail, and fax their Senators up to the nose, then so can we.Call the Capital switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and tell your Senator to help pass this important bill. Final Note: If we don't get the bill pass in the Senate, then we'll just keep trying again, again, and again. Eventually it will pass, most likely this time or next time. We have all the cards, let's just hope they play out correctly!