Michigan Christians: Hate-Crime Laws Infringe on Our Right to Be Hateful

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A federal judge in Michigan yesterday dismissed a claim that attacked the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention law, which protects gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The suit, filed in February by the conservative Thomas More Law Center, used Bible passages, Animal Farm references, and concerns about the "homosexual agenda" to claim that a law protecting Americans from bias-motivated violence in fact violates the Christians' constitutional rights to be homophobic bigots. The plaintiffs said they could be prosecuted under the law merely for preaching their beliefs (probably not the love thy neighbor bits, though). The suit argued that hearing the Christians' condemnation might lead to headaches and stomachaches for the gays that could be interpreted as "bodily injury." Judge Thomas L. Ludington disagreed.

Judge Dismisses Challenge To Hate Crimes Law [TPM]