Released by Laura Mszar with the Office of U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) slammed the liberal Congressional leadership's backdoor tactic to pass unnecessary hate crimes legislation through the unrelated Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Authorization bill, which sets the agenda for our nation's military. As an outside conferee on the Defense Authorization Conference Report, Gohmert repeatedly urged Congress to quit playing political games at the expense of our troops and remove the hate crimes bill from the Report. He described the calculated decision to leave the bill in the Authorization as a blatant slap in the face to all those who serve our nation in its military and to all those who understand the dangers of federal hate crimes legislation. In hopes that Congress would come back with a "clean" defense authorization bill, Gohmert voted against the poisoned bill and released the following statement:
"I totally support our men and women in uniform and want to provide them everything they need to do their jobs. Those valiant men and women are fighting to protect our freedom at the very time the Democratic leadership is holding them hostage to social engineering efforts to silence religious teaching against sexual immorality. The disingenuous tactic is so outrageous. They cite two factors as reasons that the hate crimes bill had to be part of the military bill now, and both reasons are complete fabrications. One was that hate crimes are on the increase. The FBI statistics over the last 20 and 10 years show that such incidents have vastly declined. The other is that the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd cases demand the law change. The FACT is that none of the poster cases mentioned would be changed at all by this bill. In fact, in the James Byrd case, two of the three defendants appropriately were sentenced to death and this bill does not even have a death penalty. Under the hate crimes bill, those defendants would get off with a much lighter sentence.
"When considered with current federal law 18 USC 2a, the federal hate crimes bill would allow prosecution of any minister who preaches against sexual immorality which is heard by some nut who goes out and commits a crime of violence. Current federal law allows prosecution of anyone who "induces" another to commit a crime. After the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd, Dr. Jim Dobson told me that a national news anchor said one had to wonder if people like Dobson "induced" such a murder.
"I simply could not support a bill that sets out our military defense strategy for our soldiers to defend our freedoms while the very same bill eviscerates the personal freedoms of speech and religion here at home. One should not come at the expense of the other. But by attaching sweeping and dangerous hate crimes legislation to the unrelated Defense Authorization, freedoms are being sacrificed in order to provide for the defense of our remaining freedoms.
"There is nothing accomplished by this hate crimes legislation that is not already accomplished by current law in this country. There has been no poster case that hate crime advocates have pointed to where the outcome would have been changed by this bill. It will also have a serious chilling effect on the freedoms of speech and religion, affecting many who preach on sexual immorality as addressed in the Bible, the Koran, and the Tanakh. We even tried to limit the heightened "sexual orientation" protections to heterosexuals and homosexuals, but that too was defeated. The Democratic majority wanted the definition wide open to include all types of sexual orientations, even those that are illegal. For example, another limiting amendment was attempted so as not to give additional protection to child molesters, but that too was defeated. Our amendment that would have given the elderly the same extra protection that homosexuals get under the law was also defeated. Overall, hate crimes legislation sends a dangerous message that random, senseless acts of violence are far more preferable in society than violence with a motive. All crimes of violence are already forbidden in every state in the country. This bill is about social engineering, not protection.
"This hate crimes bill had no business being included in the Defense Authorization bill. It was a back door way of passing a bill on the backs of our service members. They deserve to be supported, not used as a social engineering tool."
View video of Rep. Gohmert comments on the floor of the House of Representatives