As reported yesterday, several religious-right organizations have falsely claimed this week that the American Psychological Association has changed its position regarding the factors that influence or determine sexual orientation.

The reason for the false claim became apparent today when antigay activists Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber cited the false claim as a reason for antigay bigots to call their senators and oppose the inclusion of sexual orientation in existing federal laws that punish felony violence against targeted groups of people.

LaBarbera’s reasoning — and perhaps that of his source, NARTH former president A. Dean Byrd — was simple: If Americans can be misled into believing that sexual orientation is readily changeable, then (they contend) there’s no reason for U.S. lawmakers to provide gay people with the same protection from felony violence that other groups already enjoy.

Instead of aiding their readers with a link to the actual federal antiviolence legislation, Senate Bill 909, LaBarbera, Barber, and the American Family Association directed readers to far-right web sites which claim that punishing antigay felony violence punishes free speech and protects pedophiles.