VICTORY: ‘Hate Speech’ Language Removed from Mass. Bill — Would Have Criminalized Criticism of Homosexuality

“Anti-bullying” bill now moves on to Mass. House – text is still troubling

Congratulations to the vigilant pro-family activists over at MassResistance for stopping this proposed “hate speech” provision in an “anti-bullying” bill (see the proposed text in box at right). It is victories like this that made it easy for me to praise this gutsy organization and its founder, Brian Camenker (and MR blogger Amy Contrada) as a speaker at their recent fund-raising banquet.

For years — no, decades — homosexual activists have been telling us that their agenda (oops, I forgot…there is no “gay agenda”) does not pose a threat to freedom. Then we watched in Canada as religious critics of homosexuality were forced to defend themselves against “discrimination” suits brought through Orwellian government “human rights” tribunals — simply for expressing their beliefs against homosexuality. To label these state-sanctioned spectacles¬† “nuisance suits” would be to trivialize the great harm they have done to their innocent victims. Meanwhile, in Britain and Sweden, Christians also faced government oppression for opposing homosexuality. Other countries stand poised to criminalize “homophobia.”

The silence among American homosexual activists against this escalating PRO-“gay” oppression has been deafening. After all, justifying state censorship of your critics isn’t easy when you’re playing the victim card.

And now we see the first, rudimentary attempts at legislating a “hate speech” regime here in the United States. Consider the removed paragraph above in light of the common homosexualist accusation that groups like Mass Resistance and Americans For Truth “hate gays.” Self-described “queer” militants routinely equate traditional religious tenets or moral beliefs with hatred (all the while demonstrating consistent “malice” of their own with abundant lies and nasty smears against pro-family opponents).

Faithful Christians and other religious/moral foes of homosexuality will never agree with homosexuality advocates on a definition of “hate.” So imagine the folly of the government stepping in to make that determination — and then enforcing it through clumsy bureaucratic maneuvers that are destined to oppress everyday citizens whose only “crime” is to run afoul of political correctness.

Thanks to the brilliance of our Founding Fathers, who gave us the First Amendment, “hate speech” laws likely would not pass a constitutional challenge in the United States. But that won’t stop arrogant liberals from trying to pass them anyway. Thank God (and thank Mass Resistance) that at least this time around, they failed in Massachusetts. — Peter LaBarbera,


MassResistance writes:

VICTORY: Draconian language removed from bill in Mass. Senate

Posted by MassResistance, March 14, 2010

At the last minute a Senate committee removed draconian language that would criminalize criticism of homosexuality with fines and imprisonment from a bill, just before the Massachusetts Senate voted on it on Thursday. The language had been slipped into a school “anti-bullying” bill. This is a clear victory for the pro-family movement!

This would have been very extreme. (And apparently it was intended to target MassResistance in particular, given our outspokenness at the State House and online.) Similar laws have been used in Canada and other countries to snuff out free speech and religious expression regarding the homosexual movement, and severely prosecute offenders. This has been a goal of the homosexual movement in America. They will likely attempt this again — and spread it to other states.

(The text of the new version of the bill is HERE.)

As we reported last week, the Education Committee chairmen consolidated 16 “anti-bullying” bills into one main bill, S2283. But they also had added this completely unrelated section that would apply to all Massachusetts citizens:

The section near the end of S2283 bill read:

“Whoever publishes any false material whether written, printed, electronic, televised, or broadcast with intent to maliciously promote hatred of any group of persons in the commonwealth because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, or disability shall be guilty of libel and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.”

As soon as we saw that language, MassResistance put out the word that we considered it extremely offensive and that we would fight it. (As we mentioned, the phrases “false material” and “hatred” can be very subjective. It’s an open door to harassment of free speech and religious expression.)

We made sure there was a flood of phone calls and emails by activists to the Senate leadership and other legislators. And although the Boston Globe and Boston Herald declined to write about it (no surprise!) we made sure their State House reporters knew where we stood. We were even told that at least one liberal Senator intended to introduce an amendment to take the language out!

Shortly before the Thursday vote the offensive language was removed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which re-wrote S2283 into a new bill, S2313.¬†¬† Last year MassResistance had met personally with the Senate Ways and Means Chairman and showed him the horrific homosexual activism that taxpayer funds were being used for in the schools. Soon afterwards the funding for the homosexual programs was eliminated from the budget. Obviously, they clearly understood the value of free speech in this regard — and that it had nothing to do with “anti-bullying.”

The new version, S2313 with amendments, is HERE.

Passed unanimously. Thursday afternoon “anti-bullying” bill S2313 was debated, amended, and passed unanimously by the Senate. It now goes to the House.

Interest across the country regarding freedom of speech

MassResistance was interviewed on two national radio networks, the Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, and other media regarding the freedoms of speech and religion that this bill would affect. It’s been known for a long time that the homosexual movement wants to criminalize criticism of their activities, and Massachusetts is a likely place to start that. The question has been when and where.

WorldNetDaily article: “Jail for dissing ‘gays’ pulled after publicity–Massachusetts plan would have allowed year behind bars”

Additional victory: homosexual programs excluded from anti-bullying bill!

This was a huge victory — and a big loss for the homosexual lobby. (The MassResistance testimony at the public hearing obviously had an effect.)

All language that would require homosexual programs has been excluded from the bill. That had been the main objective of the homosexual and transgender lobby for this bill, and this was a clear defeat for them in that regard.

Using “anti-bullying” legislation as a vehicle to mandate homosexual and transgender programs in public schools has been a major goal of the homosexual movement around the country. MassResistance began tracking that earlier this year, and it became clear that Massachusetts was one of the main targets. At the public hearing for the “anti-bullying” bills held on November 17 it appeared that most of those testifying were homosexual and transgender activists.

But luckily at that same public hearing, MassResistance gave powerful testimony exposing that agenda which apparently resonated with several legislators.

Homosexual groups (and ADL) angry at outcome!

On the morning of the Senate vote, the homosexual newspaper Bay Windows essentially conceded defeat and complained bitterly that their objectives failed, despite their unending efforts to tie “bullying” and “homophobia” together. They wanted to weave this into what they call “enumerated categories” which would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression.”

Here’s what the Bay Windows article said:

While the Anti-Bullying Bill would, if passed, work to make schools safer, several LGBT advocacy organizations are disappointed in the lack of language specifically referring to “enumerated categories”, said Arlene Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Coalition. . .

While several groups lobbied strongly for the addition of this language, it was not included the version of the bill released from the Education Committee. “Though we are disappointed by the absence of enumerated protections, MassEquality believes this is a meaningful bill that will give all students in the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment,” Scott Gortikov, executive director of MassEquality, said . . .

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) struggled to convince the House of Representatives to add LGBT-inclusive language in the list of “victim-specific characteristics” that could be targets for bullying to their version of the Senate bill (HB 483) . . .

While the current version of S. 2283 aims to combat all types of bullying, many activists are concerned that LGBT-motivated bullying will be overlooked by school personnel — with potentially tragic consequences.

The usual propaganda, but it didn’t quite work this time thanks to citizens fighting back….

To read the rest of the MassResistance article, click HERE.

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