Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More lies about hate crimes protection courtesy of black folks

The lie about hate crimes legislation causing ministers to be arrested for preaching against homosexuality seems to be gaining traction in the communities of some black ministers:

The Memphis Baptist Ministerial Alliance is angry at U.S. Representative Steve Cohen for supporting the bill. They sent him a letter that reads in part:

"The Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association stands in total opposition to any legislation that will silence or restrict freedom of speech on the part of the churches. It is our belief that the new Hate Crime Bill is a subtle attempt on the part of the gay community to further legitimize itself as an acceptable lifestyle."

This is the latest salvo in a back and forth between Representative Cohen and black ministers in his area regarding hate crimes legislation. And every time, Cohen has assured the ministers that the legislation does not affect them being able to preach against homosexuality. This time is no different:

"... The legislation does nothing to inhibit the free speech of ministers,'' Cohen said in his statement, emphasizing that he supported the bill after consulting with the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the Urban League, legal and judicial experts and the various religious groups.

"I can understand the ministers wanting to ensure that their First Amendment rights remain untouched. Having always been a champion of free speech, I appreciate their diligence. However, I will continue to assure the BMA that infringement upon their ability to preach or speak is neither the intent nor the reality of the legislation, which only extends to acts of violence, not to speech. I will always be opposed to violence against anyone based upon race, color, national origin, or sexual orientation.''

I also noticed in their letter that the ministers revisited the unfortunate death of Matthew Shephard. They are claiming that Shephard's death was a drug deal gone wrong.

The ministers are not the only ones making this claim. The following is from today's issue of One News Now:

The murder, in fact, occurred during "somewhat of a drug deal that went bad," Deo claims. "It involves basically an issue of drugs ... and that's why you had that horrendous crime," states (Len Deo) the Family Policy Council spokesman.

I have even seen Minister Harry Jackson make that claim.

It comes from a 2004 report on the ABC show 20/20. The episode claimed to shed new details on the murder of Shephard.

And what were those new details? They were the unsubstantiated words of Shephard's murderers and a woman who was an accesory to the crime. They made the claim that Shephard's murder was a drug deal and robbery gone wrong. Bear in mind that there was no proof that this was the case and their claims contradicted what they all said in 1999.

The report boiled down to mere hearsay that added nothing to the case.

But it did provide an anchor for the anti-gay industry to claim that Shephard's murder was not a hate crime.

Now ordinarily, who would believe the words of murderers, especially when their statements contradict earlier testimony?

I guess when you are trying to "fight the evils of homosexuality," you can make those leaps of logic.