Latest Lies on Hate Crimes Legislation

Writing about Religious Right leaders lying about gay rights advocates is starting to feel like the old Saturday Night Live sketch where the Weekend Update’s top news story was “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.” Today’s version: Tony Perkins is still lying about hate crimes.

Perkins’ latest activist alert about federal hate crimes legislation moving forward as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill was sent under the headline, “The Senate Will Vote to Silence You!”
Here’s Perkins’ basic lie:
What “hate crimes” legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.
And here’s an example of the demagoguery it’s wrapped in:
Democratic leaders believe passing their liberal agenda takes precedence over keeping our armed services safe.
That’s sadly typical of the level of discourse coming from the far right these days.
Readers of this blog know that hate crimes legislation will not in any way “silence” FRC activists or lay any kind of foundation for “investigating, prosecuting and persecuting” anyone “whose actions reflect their faith,” unless those actions include committing violent crimes against other people.
Once more, for the record: the hate crimes legislation targets violent crimes, not sermons or speeches or books or anti-gay screeds by Tony Perkins. The law includes explicit First Amendment protections.  Tony Perkins is still lying.