In a desperate bid to prevent sexual orientation from being added to existing federal hate-crime laws, Focus on the Family on Friday equated the gay victims of felony violence with pedophiles.

The actual legislation is available to read online: Senate Bill 909, and the recently passed House bill H.R. 1913.

The bills make penalties (sentences) that already exist under federal hate crimes available to be applied to those already convicted of existing crimes of felony violence. Until now, felony violence committed against heterosexual or homosexual persons has been sentenced less harshly under federal hate-crime law than violence committed on the basis of what the perpetrator assumes to be the race or religion of the victim. Both bills correct that injustice, by 1) ensuring that heterosexuals and homosexuals receive equal treatment, and 2) ensuring that when a perpetrator assaults a heterosexual person based on the perpetrator’s mistaken assumption that the victim is gay, the felony is not punished less harshly.

Instead of linking to or quoting the actual legislation, Focus on the Family falsely states that the legislation “would create a new class of crimes” and falsely states that the legislation punishes speech by antigay pastors.

Worse, Focus on the Family abandons any pretense (borrowed, perhaps from its “Love Won Out” ex-gay roadshow?) of loving same-sex-attracted persons. Focus equates same-sex-attracted victims of violent crime with pedophiles. Focus states:

Even more concerning, the legislation could create special protection for pedophiles.

Sexual orientation is already defined in law and in psychiatry as an attraction to men, women, or both — not to children. Focus on the Family falsely insinuates that sexual orientation can be interpreted as an attraction to children.

Those complicit in Focus’ declaration of hate against the victims of violent antigay crime included James Dobson; Focus’ top lobbyist Tom Minnery; Gary Bauer; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex.; and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.