Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Anti-LGBT Junk Suit Fails Against Shepard Hate Crimes Law

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights Campaign Back Story reports that a suit brought against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act failed in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan.  The suit, put forward by Michigan pastors and the American Family Association of Michigan, challenged the constitutionality of the Shepard Act in February of this year.  Among its claims, the suit alleged that the Shepard Act forecloses on the free exercise of fundamental rights of those who “publicly oppose homosexual activism, the homosexual lifestyle, and the homosexual agenda.”  Further, the law suit argues that the Shepard Act creates “thought crimes” and “is an effort to eradicate religious beliefs opposing the homosexual agenda.”  The three Michigan pastors claimed that the law had chilled their rights under the First Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Commerce Clause.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called upon the court to dismiss the case, arguing that the Shepard Act does not violate the rights of Americans, and was passed to protect LGBTQ people in this country from physical violence, not thought or speech.  The judge hearing the case agreed with Attorney General Holder, and dismissed the case as meritless on all counts on September 7.

September 8, 2010 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bisexual persons, gay men, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Human Rights Campaign, Legislation, Lesbian women, Matthew Shepard Act, Michigan, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, U.S. Justice Department, Washington, D.C. | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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