WASHINGTON -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement after the House of Representatives approved a "hate crimes" provision within the defense authorization bill:
"By granting a special protection for a particular group, we diminish protections and thereby penalize everyone else. This is the ironic but unavoidable result of measures like the thought-crimes bill passed today," said Perkins.
"This measure is about giving special rights based solely on sexual behavior. We applaud the 146 Members of Congress of both parties who had the courage to oppose this otherwise popular bill because it was burdened with this irrelevant provision. It violates the principle of equal justice under the law and also threatens to infringe on the free speech rights of the American people.
"Congress should protect all Americans equally and not provide special protections to a few politically favored groups. A vote in favor of so-called 'hate crimes' legislation is a direct violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause, since all violent crimes are hate crimes, and every victim is equally important. All of our citizens deserve equal justice under the law. Do we somehow care less about victims violently assaulted in the act of robbery or during a personal dispute than we do about those assaulted because they belong in a federally designated, politically motivated category?
"This also sets us on a slippery slope toward serious infringements of the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. 'Hate crime' legislation will lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith," Perkins concluded.