The 700 Club reported this morning on former Ecuadorian presidential candidate and current preacher Nelson Zavala, who was found to have violated the country's ban on discrimination by making anti-gay remarks.
700 Club host Pat Robertson defended Zavala and added: "The power of God can change people's orientation. A murderer can change, a rapist can change, a thief can change. That's what the gospel is about. It's not a hate crime.”
Robertson later warned that the U.S. is on the verge of adopting hate speech laws, which would likely violate the First Amendment.
According to HuffingtonPost.com, Ecuadorian Judge Patrio Baca recently ruled that Zavala is banned from any political or governmental movement for a year, must pay a fine of nearly $3,000 and may possibly be sentenced to jail for a hate crime.
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Zavala made comments during his electoral campaign that homosexuality was “immoral,” a “sin” and a “deviation of conduct.”
"On what they judge me, they will be judged. They don’t have interference in heaven. One day God will judge everything, and be prepared to explain to God why you called evil good, and good evil," said Zavala, who plans to appeal.