Support anti-hate act
The July 11 ad in USA TODAY by the High Impact Leadership Coalition implied that the anti-hate crime law that is before the Senate might impede the rights and freedoms of religious people to speak out against homosexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the legislation carries an explicit protection for religious speech. This law addresses only hate crimes that cause serious physical harm and death.
The people who placed this ad are actively trying to mislead the public. Sadly, I suspect that their motivations are rooted not in their faith, but in deeply held prejudice against gay and lesbian Americans.
Their view certainly does not reflect the views of the more than 1,300 clergy members who has signed a letter urging senators to vote for the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Twenty-six state attorneys general, including 23 from states with anti-hate crimes laws, as well as 290 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, also support it.
This bill would help protect all Americans from the scourge of hate violence and strengthen the safety of all our nation's citizens.
PS -- Also in USA TODAY:
WASHINGTON — Opposition to the Iraq war has reached a record high, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, a development likely to complicate President Bush's efforts to hold together Republican support as the Senate begins debate this week on Pentagon priorities.
Bush's approval rating has reached a new low: 29%. More than seven in 10 favor removing nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by April.