Contact: Valerie Mosher, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126
WASHINGTON, April 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- Congress is set to vote on a bill that would create a caste system of victims and violate the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for all citizens under the law. Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Wendy Wright sent a letter urging congressmen to reject the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R. 1913, stating:
The Hate Crimes Act constructs a ranking of victims based on actual or perceived "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." This legislation flies in the face of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees "equal protection under the law" for all citizens -- regardless of their sexual preference. Such legislation would require the government to investigate the sexual history, behavior, and identity of victims, and invest more resources into the prosecution of those who are perceived (by whom is not clear) to engage in particular sexual behavior over and above crimes committed against other victims such as grandmothers, former homosexuals, military members, police officers and victims of prior crimes.
"Hate crimes" legislation also represents an overreach of the federal government into state authority. Forty-five states currently have "hate crimes" laws on the books and have effectively exercised their jurisdiction to prosecute crimes. A federal "hate crimes" law would signify that if the Department of Justice did not like a verdict in a state they can intrude to trump a state's ruling. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that states are discriminating against any particular victims.
Furthermore, expanding "hate crimes" to include "sexual orientation" and gender identity could put people with traditional values directly in the crosshairs of official government policy. "Hate crimes" laws place us on a slippery slope toward religious persecution. These laws are already being employed as a tool in Brazil, Europe, Canada -- and even right here in America -- to intimidate and silence people who honor natural human sexuality and who value the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman. If a person speaks out against various sexual behaviors, that person may be accused of "hate speech," which could lead to an accusation of associations with "hate crimes."
Please do not pass legislation that subverts our national foundation of equal justice for all by granting special treatment to a class of citizens based on a perception of an individual's sexual preference.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the bill on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.