Christian Right Claims Bill “Criminalizes Thoughts”

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that right-wing groups are pulling a fast one in their opposition to H.R. 1592, which would expand the federal definition of a hate crime to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, and disability. “It would criminalize negative comments concerning homosexuality, such as calling the practice of homosexuality a sin from the pulpit, a ‘hate crime’ punishable by a hefty fine and time in prison,” the American Family Association claims. “We must stop it before they send your grandma, your pastor, or you to jail for sharing your faith,” says Janet Folger. Never mind the fact that this is completely untrue. In fact, “the bill only applies in cases where a victim was physically attacked or the subject of an attempted attack.”