REPENT AMERICA APPLAUDS SENATOR ALLEN'S
WITHDRAWAL OF SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL HATE BILL 12/12/05
PHILADELPHIA - Repent America applauds Republican U.S. Sen. George Allen's decision to no longer support "hate crimes" legislation that protects "sexual orientation", even if the proposed bill is identical to one that he voted in support of last year. The Senator acknowledged that similar legislation has already silenced Christians in Philadelphia, and could be used by federal courts to extend civil rights protections.
According to Cybercast News Service, Mike Thomas, Senator Allen's state director cited two reasons as to why he now opposes such legislation. "The first is, he feels that those changes to hate crimes laws could have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights, [and] secondly - even though he doesn't feel that the legislation that was voted on in 2004, in and of itself, would elevate 'sexual orientation' to civil rights status - it's becoming clear that there are some courts that would use that as a building block toward civil rights status, which he is opposed to," stated Thomas.
In October of 2004, eleven Christians with Repent America were arrested and jailed under Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" legislation for ministering the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ at an annual homosexual festival held in the public streets of Philadelphia. The Christians, after spending 21 hours in jail, were charged with three felonies and five misdemeanors because officials believed that their mere presence at a homosexual event offended those present.
The Christians faced up to 47 years in prison, and $90,000 in fines each. The charges were dismissed by Common Pleas Court Judge Pamela Dembe as being without merit, but only after Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham's office put the Christians through months of malicious prosecution. Abraham sits on the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, who are the architects of "hate crimes" legislation.
"We are excited that Senator Allen has made this intelligent decision," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "If we fail to hold our representatives accountable for supporting such laws, simply speaking the Gospel of Jesus Christ will become illegal," he continued. "It is our hope that others who support such dangerous legislation will follow Senator Allen's lead before Christians are put behind bars for good," Marcavage concluded.
In September of this year, Repent America brought a legal challenge against the unconstitutional manner in which Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" law was passed, adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as protected classes. A decision in the case is forthcoming by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
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