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Hate Crimes Law Passes Stress Test


Despite their best hateful efforts, a group of conservative Christian ministers on Monday failed to show that the new federal hate-crimes law protecting LGBT people threatens freedom of speech and religion.

Ministers from across the country gathered outside the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., to "test the bounds" of the new law, according to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.

"The evangelical activists had been hoping to provoke arrest, because, as organizer Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission put it, 'we'd have standing to challenge the law,'" reported Milbank. "But their prayers were not answered. Nobody was arrested, which wasn't surprising: To run afoul of the new law, you need to 'plan or prepare for an act of physical violence' or 'incite an imminent act of physical violence.'"

Rather than being arrested for their antigay declarations, the ministers found themselves peacefully surrounded by the opposing point of view.

"By the end, the gay rights activists had taken over the lectern and the sound system and were holding their own news conference denouncing the ministers," wrote Milbank.

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Julie Bolcer