After my post about hate crimes legislation earlier today, I thought I’d show you what the opposition looks like. Here is the headline from today’s OneNewsNow email:
The interesting thing to note here is that the sole reason the individual in this article condemns the law is because he’s been prosecuted under it once before.
Michael Marcavage, director of Philadelphia-based Repent America, was one of 11 Christians who were jailed and charged with a hate crime for carrying Bible verse banners and preaching at a 2004 homosexual pride event in Philadelphia. The charges were later dismissed — and in 2008, the state’s Supreme Court ruled the law had been passed illegally by the Pennsylvania legislature.
Now, let’s be clear. The law in Pennsylvania was not overturned because the content of the law itself was unconstitutional. They simply found that it had been passed unconstitutionally, because a bill on another topic (agricultural crimes) had been amended to be about hate crimes, in violation of this provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution (Article III, Section 1):
No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended, on its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose.
Basically, he got off on a technicality. This doesn’t add much merit to his claims against the hate crimes bill.
In fact, he can’t complain about the bill without actually saying hateful things against the LGBT community:
Marcavage says the new federal hate crimes law is yet another move by the federal government to “silence Christians.”
“What this bill does is [seek] to shut down those who dare to speak against the sin of homosexuality with the hope and freedom that is found in Jesus Christ,” says the Christian activist.
“Having been charged under a hate crime, I’m definitely moved with compassion on those who the government is trying to silence us from reaching out to,” he continues, “but we’re going to continue to do as we have been doing, and ministering to those trapped in the bondage of this lifestyle.”
It takes a lot of gall to condemn people’s very existence as “sin,” “bondage,” and “lifestyle” in the name of “hope” and “freedom.” That is exactly what he tries to do though. While there may be those who oppose hate crimes laws because they don’t think they help, Marcavage is complaining that it keeps him from being as abrasive with his hate.
So if you had any misgivings about hate crimes laws, you can see what they actually help protect the community from: fear, intimidation, and hate (whether it’s in the name of Jesus Christ or not).