New Jersey Legislation Threatens Free Speech January 3, 2008Posted by Daniel Downs in family, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, gay politics, hate crime, legislation, news, politics, tyranny.
Before you even have a chance to settle back after the holidays, New Jersey Legislature is planning to swiftly pass a bill (S-2975 and A-4591) that would squelch any free speech that criticizes homosexual behavior, or any other “gender expression” such as transgenderism or transvestism. In other words, if this bill passes in the legislature, your children in school, pastors or even ex-gays could be charged with a hate crime if they publicly express an opinion – even a religious opinion – against homosexual behavior. Anyone simply sharing the fact that homosexuality is treatable or is not in-born could be charged with a hate crime and could be prosecuted under this new bill!
This combined legislation (S-2975 and A-4591) is clearly a violation of free speech and free exercise of religion. Dissent, political opinion and religious expression are protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This proposed legislation as written, strongly suggests that any expressed disagreement to homosexual behavior, “gender identity or expression” could be construed as bias intimidation. In fact, the bill specifies that if found guilty of bias intimidation, you will be forced to attend “sensitivity training” which will indoctrinate you to accept homosexual behavior or other “gender expressions” and reject your sincerely held religious beliefs. The law is unnecessary because currently EVERYONE – including homosexuals – are equally protected from criminal acts. This bill would ADD additional, special penalties to a criminal sentence if someone is convicted of having a “hateful” intent towards a homosexual, transgender or transvestite.
The language in both S-2975 and A-4591 is similar to laws in Sweden where in 2003 The Rev. Ake Green, the pastor of a Swedish Pentecostal church in Kalmar Sweden, was sentenced to one month in prison for inciting hatred against homosexuals. Green was prosecuted in January 2003 for a sermon he preached that summer citing Biblical references to homosexual behavior. While Rev. Green’s charges were finally dropped in 2006, he was jailed and dragged through court trials over the issue for 3 years! Is this what we want to see in New Jersey?
Sadly, it appears that a majority of NJ Senators who were elected to represent us are currently planning to vote in favor of this bill which will remove our right to free speech and opinion on these issues.
Currently, the NJ Senate is poised to vote on their version of this dangerous bill later this afternoon. likewise, the NJ Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear testimony and vote today, but there is a chance that NJ citizens could stop the bill from passing by voicing strong opposition to it.
It is imperative for NJ citizens to call their representatives now. If free speech rights will continue, NJ citizens must tell their senators and assemblymen that they insist that their right to free speech be preserved in NJ on every issue, including homosexuality.
Based on a email sent by Len Deo, “Imminent Hate Crimes Bill Call Assemblymen & Senator,” 3 January 2008 and was edited for publication on this blog. Len Deo is president of New Jersey Policy Council.