FRC: 'Hate Crimes' Legislation Is Unconstitutional

"Creates a system of 'separate and unequal'"



03 May, 2007, 01:00 ET from Family Research Council

    WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a move that is a direct
 violation of the 14th Amendment which affords equal protection under the
 law, the House of Representatives passed a "hate crimes" measure that would
 grant certain victims of crimes allegedly motivated by bias greater
 protection than other victims of violence. The measure passed by a vote of
 237 to 180.
     Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following
 statement:
     "Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special
 categories of victims is unconstitutional. The actions of a majority of the
 House today undermine the promise of equal protection under the law
 guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. This legislation creates second-class
 victims and a legal system of 'separate and unequal.'
     "There has been no proof that violent crimes perpetrated against any of
 the groups listed in the bill have not been prosecuted to the fullest
 extent of the law, yet now Congress is asking the federal government to get
 involved in issues that are, and should remain, local concerns.
     "By far the most disturbing threat we face by this legislation -- is
 the threat it poses to free speech and our religious liberties. In some
 jurisdictions that have adopted similar laws, 'hate crimes' have been
 defined to include not just physical acts of violence but merely verbal
 ones as well. When 'thought crimes' laws are interpreted this way, they
 pose a serious threat to freedom of speech and religious liberty.
     "I strongly encourage people to let their Senators know to vote against
 this unconstitutional legislation and encourage President Bush to follow
 through with the White House statement issued today and veto any such
 measure should it reach his desk."
 
 

SOURCE Family Research Council
    WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a move that is a direct
 violation of the 14th Amendment which affords equal protection under the
 law, the House of Representatives passed a "hate crimes" measure that would
 grant certain victims of crimes allegedly motivated by bias greater
 protection than other victims of violence. The measure passed by a vote of
 237 to 180.
     Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following
 statement:
     "Criminalizing thoughts as well as actions, and creating special
 categories of victims is unconstitutional. The actions of a majority of the
 House today undermine the promise of equal protection under the law
 guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. This legislation creates second-class
 victims and a legal system of 'separate and unequal.'
     "There has been no proof that violent crimes perpetrated against any of
 the groups listed in the bill have not been prosecuted to the fullest
 extent of the law, yet now Congress is asking the federal government to get
 involved in issues that are, and should remain, local concerns.
     "By far the most disturbing threat we face by this legislation -- is
 the threat it poses to free speech and our religious liberties. In some
 jurisdictions that have adopted similar laws, 'hate crimes' have been
 defined to include not just physical acts of violence but merely verbal
 ones as well. When 'thought crimes' laws are interpreted this way, they
 pose a serious threat to freedom of speech and religious liberty.
     "I strongly encourage people to let their Senators know to vote against
 this unconstitutional legislation and encourage President Bush to follow
 through with the White House statement issued today and veto any such
 measure should it reach his desk."
 
 SOURCE Family Research Council