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CWA Asks President for Veto Pledge on 'Hate Crimes' Legislation

Contact: Sarah Rode, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 127


WASHINGTON, May 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a recent letter to President Bush, Concerned Women for America (CWA) asked the President to veto H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, should it gain congressional approval. 


Congress appears poised to pass H.R. 1592 as early as Thursday.  This bill would grant individuals who engage in homosexual behavior ("sexual orientation") or those who cross-dress ("gender identity") preferential treatment over other citizens by elevating them to a specially protected class of victim. 


The 14th Amendment guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law, regardless of their chosen sexual behaviors.  There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals or cross-dressers do not receive equal protection under the law.     


CWA President Wendy Wright pointed out, "Justice should be blind.  Matthew Shepherd's assailants received the same sentence as Mary Stachowicz's, a grandmother who was brutally murdered by a homosexual man.  Victims are — and should be — treated equally in the justice system, regardless of their 'sexual orientation.'  This 'hate crimes' bill would overturn this balance, creating second-class victims and a federal justice system that discriminates against grandmothers, children, women and men simply because they are heterosexual.  We cannot imagine that President Bush would sign a bill that would create a two-tiered justice system that discriminates against grandmothers."


Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues, noted, "Attempts by Republicans to make this legislation more inclusive by adding additional classes of citizens such as children, members of the military, the elderly or the homeless were refused by congressional liberals in committee last week.  That refusal underscores the exclusionary and discriminatory nature of this bill.  H.R. 1592 unequivocally treats one class of citizens preferentially over others.  


"Perhaps most frightening is the fact that liberal legislators have refused any amendment which would substantively protect religious expression in association with this legislation.  Similar laws have been used around the world — and right here at home — to silence opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.  That refusal speaks volumes about the true agenda behind this legislation, which is to grant official government recognition to both homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors, and to silence opposition to those behaviors," concluded Barber.     


Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.