WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- From 1 to 3 pm today, a coalition of concerned Christians held a press conference outside of the Justice Department in Washington. D.C., decrying the recent expansion of federal hate-crimes legislation to include homosexuals, and contending that this will result in the persecution of Bible-believing Christians.
Speakers included Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr. of STAND America and Exodus Faith Ministries. Rev. Jackson, an African-American minister, said he was outraged by gay activists comparing homosexuals to blacks in the pre-Civil Rights era. Jackson noted that there is no comparison to a people enslaved and segregated and who endured lynching.
Paul Diamond, a barrister, traveled from London to describe how the British equivalent of hate-crimes laws have been used to persecute Christians who have dared to speak out for God's word regarding an aberrant lifestyle. Diamond works with the Christian Legal Centre, which protects the civil rights of faithful Christians.
After the press conference, Pastor Rick Scarborough of Vision America Action and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel presented a memo to a representative of the attorney general.
The 5-page memo was drafted by Matthew Staver, Esq., president of Liberty Counsel. Referring to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act ("HCP Act') which was signed into law by President Obama on October 28, Staver notes: "The subject of homosexuality and 'gender identity' (a term which is undefined in the HCP Act) is divisive. Many law-abiding citizens have strong moral and religious-based viewpoints on these subjects. The HCP Act appears to license only one side of the ongoing debate while threatening significant penalties for alleged violations."
Staver announced that Liberty Counsel is "ready and willing to defend against any misapplication of the HCP Act to law-abiding citizens whose speech and exercise of religion is otherwise protected under the United States Constitution."
Scarborough declared: "Those responsible for this infamous law thought that would be the end of it. This press conference is just the opening salvo in a struggle to defend freedom of religion, free speech and the way of life on which our nation was built."
For more information, or to interview Dr. Scarborough or another participant at the press conference, contact Misty Allmond at 936-560-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.