Thomas More Law Center Files Appeal in Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging the “Hate Crimes” Act

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed its opening brief earlier this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, seeking to overturn a lower court decision dismissing its federal lawsuit challenging the Federal Hate Crimes Act passed in 2009.

TMLC’s lawsuit was the first in the Nation to challenge the federal law. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Pastors Rene Ouellette, James Combs, Levon Yuille and the president of the American Family Association of Michigan, Gary Glenn, against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked “standing” to bring the lawsuit, and that the case was not “ripe” for adjudication. TMLC is appealing this ruling.

The Hate Crimes Act was clearly intended to intimidate Christians and their religious leaders into remaining silent concerning their religious belief that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin.

According to the brief filed by TMLC with the Sixth Circuit, “This statute is all about elevating certain persons (homosexuals) to a protected class under federal law based on nothing more than their choice to have sex with persons of the same gender, while marginalizing strong religious opposition to this immoral choice.”

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of TMLC, commented: “Under the guise of enforcing ‘niceness’ and promoting ‘tolerance, ’ homosexual advocacy groups have mobilized their financial power to purchase political clout which they now use to shut down any criticism of their deviant lifestyle. The truth is they are one of the most intolerant groups in our society and viciously attack anyone who opposes their point of view.”

Religious – Holy Bible circle Continued Thompson: “The sole purpose of this law is to use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is an abomination and a sin.”

According to statistics compiled by their own “gay rights” advocacy groups, the greatest threat of violence to homosexuals comes not from Christians, but from other homosexuals. Christians are taught to love the sinner, but to hate the sin.

Evidence clearly shows the Act will be used by federal prosecutors to intimidate Christians and shut down any speech critical of the homosexual life style. For example, the ACLU of Michigan hosted a forum on the Hate Crime Act for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) community that was attended by Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and her assistants responsible for enforcing the Act.

McQuade told her audience, “We’re very eager to enforce the Act.”

Pam Thompson, another federal prosecutor said, “We are so excited about this new law and the enforcement opportunities it provides for us.”

A third federal prosecutor, Judith Levy, said, “Our office is open for business in enforcing and defending the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.” She encouraged the LGBT community to show up at court hearings for the Hate Crimes lawsuit.

Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel for TMLC who is handling the case, observed, “This new federal law promotes two Orwellian concepts. First, it creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And secondly, it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution. Consequently, government officials are claiming the power to decide which thoughts are criminal under federal law and which are not.”

People – Attorney General Eric Holder: No legitimate law enforcement need is served by this Hate Crimes Act.

* All 50 states already have criminal laws punishing violence against all persons.

* Attorney General Holder told a Senate hearing that there was no evidence that “hate crimes” were going unpunished at the state level and that the states were doing a fine job in this area.

* In 2008, the FBI reported approximately 1.38 million violent crimes in the United States, out of which 243 crimes were considered “bias” motivated because of the victim’s sexual orientation. That amounts to a fraction of 1% of the crimes.

* According to the statistics compiled by a homosexual advocacy group, during the period from 1999 to 2003, a homosexual was 244% more likely to commit an act of violence against another homosexual than was a heterosexual.


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