President Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill

President Signs “Hate Crimes” Bill

Recently, the Senate passed the hate crimes bill, 68 to 29, with a majority of Republicans voting against it. Congressional Republicans objected to the process used to move the hate crimes bill through, noting that Democrats attached the bill to the defense authorization measure — which included a 3.4 percent pay raise for the military, among other defense budget items — as a cynical ploy to dare the GOP to vote against it. Therefore, many Republicans, normally staunch supporters of defense bills, voted against the bill because of the hate crimes provision. President Obama signed the bill into law on Wednesday, October 28.

Under the new federal “aiding and abetting” statute, which allows for prosecution of anyone who “aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures the commission of a crime” done by another, religious leaders and members of religious groups could be prosecuted under the hate crimes bill, said Ashley Horne from Focus on the Family Action. “On any given Sunday morning, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors preaching on God’s view of sexuality and marriage, and what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. How many hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people, have heard such sermons? Is it possible that one of those millions of listeners at some point might commit an act of violence against a homosexual person and try to blame it on his pastor’s teaching? Of course, it is. And that puts the pastor in the cross hairs of this “hate crimes” law.”

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