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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Activist Group Repeats Hate-Crime Bill Falsehoods
Topic: Newsmax

A July 24 email sent out on Newsmax's mailing list by Pray in Jesus Name -- headed by former military chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former WorldNetDaily cause celebre whom we've documented praying for the imminent deaths of his critics -- repeats discredited falsehoods regarding efforts to add gays to hate-crime laws.

The email calls the bill "the pro-homosexual 'Pedophile Protection Act'" and asserts that the bill does not define the phrase "sexual orientation" and "protects up to 547 types of sexually deviant behaviors." As we've detailed, the bill does not protect pedophilia or any other "sexually deviant behavior," and "sexual orientation" is already defined under federal law, so doing so inthis bill would be redundant.

Klingenschmitt also writes:

In 2004 my friend Michael Marcavage was arrested along with ten other Christians (including two elderly grandmothers), and charged with violating Pennsylvania’s "hate crimes" laws, because they carried signs conveying God’s love at a Gay Pride rally. One member of "The Philadelphia Eleven," Arlene Elshinnawy, 75 year-old grandmother of three, was holding a sign: "Truth is hate to those who hate the truth," before she was hauled off to jail by police officers.  They were literally threatened with 50 years in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a public sidewalk, because it offended gays.

In fact, as we've detailed, Maracavage was not merely "carrying signs conveying God’s love"; he wielded a bullhorn and tried to interrupt a stage performance during the gay festival, and they were arrested only after they refused a police order to go to an area on the edge of the event. Further, the protesters were never in any danger of serving "50 years in jail"; even the lawyer for the gay event the protesters disrupted speculated that they would not receive anything more severe than probation (indeed, the charges were later dropped).

Klingenschmitt also portrayed himself in the email as "a former Navy Chaplain who was punished (in writing, three times) for quoting the Bible in chapel during optionally-attended worship." In fact, as we've noted, Klingenschmitt was never punished for praying in Jesus' name; he was punished for disobeying the lawful order of a senior officer by appearing in uniform at a partisan event.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT

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