The Senatorial Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (aka S. 1105) may get a vote as early as today after Senators Ted Kennedy and Gordon Smith filed the act as an amendment to the Department of defense reauthorization bill.
The move comes just hours after those Gravel-dissers HRC released a letter signed by 1300 religious leaders urging the Senate to follow in the House of Representatives’ footsteps.
In addition to pledging their holy allegiance to the controversial bill, the pious group took on the Christian right, which equate the hate crime law with an attack on free speech:
As people of faith we also know that free speech is a precious right. We would not support a bill that did not contain ample protections for free speech, including preaching and statements of religious belief. This law does not criminalize or impede religious expression in any way. Rather, the bill specifically addresses violent acts by those who act on their hate to terrorize entire communities. Although the legislation has attracted a few loud opponents from the radical right who wrongly claim to represent all religious people, we fair-minded clergy will not waver in our condemnation of prejudice of all forms and our support for this hate crimes legislation.
That’s religious speak for “Focus on The Family and their pals are nutzoid pricks”.
We’ll keep you posted on any developments.