Politics - House Judiciary Discussion of HR 1592 (old reference)
This page explores how the deceptions we have discussed find their way into House of Representative discussions
The House Judiciary Committee Discussion of HR 1592 HateCrimes Bill. (note this is an older Hate Crimes Bill) The text of House Bill 1592 can be found here. Snopes (an internet myth buster) comments on the bill on this page.
This discussion is quite long. Portions of this are referred to by the AFA and other Christian political organizations. Their big concern is a question on page 206 concerning pastoral protection. The question is
And if I understood the gentleman's amendment—and I will put the question back to you—if a minister preaches that sexual relations outside of marriage of a man and woman is wrong, and somebody within that congregation goes out and does an act of violence, and that person says that that minister counseled or induced him through the sermon to commit that act, are you saying under your amendment that in no way could that ever be introduced against the minister?
Mr. Davis. No.
The above has often been touted as a direct threat to ministers preaching what they believe on homosexuality.
However the question is whether it could in no way ever be introduced against the minister to which the reply is "No". The question regards an exceptionalsituation, not a typical one. Sadly, there may indeed be ministers who truly do incite violence against others (such as churches that support the KKK or other such groups) In those exceptional situations a minister should be held accountable. An example of just such a situation is found here.
Just as an aside, even in countries such as Sweden, countries without free speech protection in their constitutions, which have laws that limit anti-gay speech, the high court of the land has established legal precedent protecting ministers. (See page)
Concern has also been raised over whether the Supreme Court in a future case would look at the discussion of this bill to determine their verdict. I don’t know if this is even a possibility (that the Supreme Court would look at a years old discussion of a bill to determine intent). However, if it did happen, looking at this statement in the context of the entire document, it would be evident that the committee did not intend this to be a hate speech law (which would be unconstitutional anyway). Its focus is on acts ofviolence against a person due to their religious beliefs, race or orientation. The long discussion on this bill is focused on the very concern of free speech protection. Additionally the first amendment of the constitution would rule it unconstitutional. Section 8 of this bill has just such a notification. See section 8..
SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Here is an overview of key points in the House Judiciary Committee transcript: Page 199 line 4680-4697
This is a reference to eleven 'peaceful' protesters in the so-called Philadelphia 11 incident.. This is covered on this myth page (see link). Repent America, the group that was protesting put out several lawsuits against the city over the years for what happened in 2004. All of their lawsuits failed.
Page 194 4567-4570
This refers to billboards in New York with the false claim that municipality had them taken down. Once again Christian groups brought a law suit for alleged violations of free speech. See this page of Myths for a discussion of this. Their law suit failed since the billboard owner has a right to free speech too.
Page 194 Line 4571-4573
This refers to a San Francisco City Council resolution asking local broadcast media not to run pro-family advertisement as an attack on freedom. The advertisement was for an Exgay conference. The reason for the council's concern was the negative effect such exgay ministries have had on people who go through their program as documented here and here.
The AFA (American Family Association) brought a law suit against the council over their resolution. See this page for more information on the AFA's lawsuit against San Francisco over this. I would just note here that a council resolution is not binding on anyone The lawsuit failed. It needed to fail. If city councils or govt. bodies could be sued for non-binding resolutions you would be opening the door to lawsuits to city councils or govt. bodies when they pass a resolution for people to pray, to object to pornography or to speak against (or for) a variety of issues
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