Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Gary Glenn, Executive Director or American Family Association of Michigan, wrote yesterday:
I was disappointed to learn today that Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, in 2001 signed homosexual activists’ so-called “hate crimes” legislation into law in that state.
As with the federal law signed by President Obama, the Texas statute signed by Perry establishes special “protected class” status under law, including enhanced sentencing for crimes allegedly motivated by bias against it, expressly on the basis of so-called “sexual preference” (homosexual behavior).
As lead plaintiff in a federal civil rights lawsuit (http://bit.ly/ilz0mP) asking the courts to declare the Obama-signed law an unconstitutional and chilling violation of religious free speech rights, honesty requires that I be equally critical of Gov. Perry for signing into law the exact same type of legislation, which — it’s clear from the enforcement record of such laws in Europe and Canada — poses the greatest single threat to religious free speech rights in America today.
Thus, if Perry were to become the Republican nominee for president, both major presidential candidates would be on record as having signed into law what is arguably the most dangerous element of homosexual activists’ political agenda, which we routinely characterize — when criticizing Obama and other Democrats who advocate it — as threatening to result in the criminalization of Christianity. It poses no less a threat to religious freedom if signed into law by a Republican.
Gary Glenn, President
American Family Association of Michigan
Office of the Governor
“As the Governor of our diverse state, in all matters it is my desire to seek common ground for the common good. In the end, we are all Texans and we must be united as we walk together into the future. That’s why today I have signed House Bill 587 into law. Texas has always been a tough-on-crime state. With my signature today, Texas now has stronger criminal penalties against crime motivated by hate.”
— Gov. Rick Perry, bill-signing ceremony, May 11, 2001
Analysis by Equality Texas
(homosexual activist group)
2001 – 77th Session
House Bill 587 – (James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act)
Equality Texas position — Yes
* After a 10-year struggle to pass a hate crimes bill in Texas, success was finally achieved with the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. A bill might have been passed more quickly, but various allied communities, in particular communities of color, insisted that any hate crimes bill must include sexual orientation. Such solidarity was clearly rewarded and is a model for future progress.
* Equality Texas (as the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas) strongly supported passage of the Act.
Text of House Bill 587 (2001) signed into law by Gov. Perry
“In the punishment phase of the trial of an offense under Title 5, Penal Code…if the court determines that the defendant intentionally selected the victim primarily because of the defendant’s bias or prejudice against a group, the court shall make an affirmative finding of that fact and enter the affirmative finding in the judgment of that case if at the guilt or innocence phase of the trial, the judge or the jury, whichever is the trier of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the offense was committed or intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant’s bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference. …In this article, ‘sexual preference’ has the following meaning only: a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.”