Saturday, July 26, 2008

PA Supreme Court Strikes Down 'Hate Crimes' Statute

-- From "Supremes strike 'hate crime' statute" © 2008 WorldNetDaily 7/25/08

"We are very happy that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in our favor to stop the governor and a group of corrupt politicians from sneaking a 'hate crimes' bill through the Pennsylvania legislature," said Judge Roy Moore, of the Foundation for Moral Law.

"Preaching to homosexuals about the sin of sodomy should not be made a 'thought crime' in Pennsylvania or any other state," he said.

Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America and a petitioner in the case, said, "Having been arrested, jailed and charged with a 'hate crime' for preaching the Gospel, I am elated that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling in striking down Pennsylvania's expanded 'hate crimes' law."

He said the methods used in the legislature to implement the law were "extremely devious."

Marcavage called it "yet another chilling example as to how far politicians are willing to go to silence Christian speech that they would violate our own state constitution to do it."

"In a nation that is becoming increasingly hostile toward biblical Christianity, we remain vigilant as the Pennsylvania legislature will most likely attempt to pass another 'hate crimes' bill and are continuing to educate the American people on the significant dangers of such laws," he said.

The petitioners said the passage of the bill, which originally criminalized agricultural crop destruction but was altered to become the first proposal in Pennsylvania to recognize "sexual orientation" as a protected class, failed to follow Article III of the state constitution. That provision prohibits the complete overhaul of a bill in the course of its passage.

The provisions adopted under the failed procedure increased penalties for crimes based on what the criminal was thinking, specifying the additional penalties for "actual or perceived … ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity."

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