The Family Research Council on Feb. 26 sent out an e-mail to constituents which contended that penalties for felony violence threaten religious liberty.

The enactment of so-called “hate crimes” legislation is a long-stated objective of the homosexual agenda. What this legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose words and actions reflect their faith.

The act would establish a new FEDERAL offense for so-called “hate crimes” and add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as specially protected classes. It will mandate a separate federal criminal prosecution for state offenses.

FRC sidesteps a basic fact: Existing hate-crime laws punish felony violence — murder, rape, and severe battery — not speech. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing laws merely ensures that such violence won’t be ignored or treated less harshly by local authorities.

Why does FRC, year after year, defend a special right to felony violence against gay and transgender persons? Perhaps because its constituency of far-right pastors considers bullying and incitement to violence by far-right Christians to be valid forms of religious expression against the religious and social freedom of others.

FRC adds that punishment of antigay felony violence is equivalent to punishment of “thought crime.” FRC concludes by asking donors to sign a worthless online “petition” which tells signers that they are fighting hate crimes — even as they exempt antigay and anti-transgender felony violence from full prosecution under existing hate-crime laws which already protect other at-risk demographics.

Sign our Petition TODAY to say that equal protection under the law means equal protection for ALL.

FRC seems to reinterpret the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so that it guarantees “equal protection” only to those persons who continue to be excused by prejudiced law-enforcement agencies for acts of systematic violence against gay people.

Despite what some prooftexted Bible verses may claim, felony violence is never a legitimate form of religious “speech” in civilized society. Furthermore, it is the victims of felony violence — not the perpetrators — who are denied religious liberty.

For FRC’s culture-war constituency, bullying and incitement to violence against entire sectors of the population remain necessary tools in their war against religious and social freedom and individuality.