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Religious right
wages war against hate-crimes bill

Religious right
wages war against hate-crimes bill

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would expand the federal definition of hate crimes to include violence against any person because of their "actual or perceived" sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, right-wing religious organizations have mounted a campaign against the bill, which is likely to pass in the House, and are encouraging their members to contact legislators and express their opposition to the "anti-Christian" bill.

Focus on the Family, the Traditional Family Coalition, and the Family Research Council are among the organizations that oppose the bill and have made claims that the legislation would make antigay comments criminally punishable--a claim HRC's president, Joe Solmonese, said is patently false.

"It's no surprise the religious right is so concerned about hate speech--for them hate appears to be a cottage industry," Solmonese said in a statement. "But they have nothing to fear. Even after the hate-crimes legislation is passed, the religious right will continue to have the federally protected right to preach hatred." (The Advocate)

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