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Let the “Sexual Orientation Hate” Bill Pass and Invite Your Own Oppression


by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. 

May 2, 2007


For a PDF version of this article go here

For a letter to members of Congress: here

For an exchange will a homosexual man upset with this article: here


The U.S. House of Representatives will be voting this week, possibly Thursday, on the passage of a “Hate Crimes” bill that seeks to make “sexual orientation” (i.e. homosexuality, bisexuality) and “gender identity” (i.e. cross-dressing, transsexuality) specially protected legal categories (HR 1592: the so-called “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act”).  

At first glance one might ask, “Who could be against criminalizing group-hate?” The problem comes in the interpretation of “hate.” As regards the volatile issues of homosexuality and transgenderism, one person’s definition of love is defined by another as hate. If you believe that true love means loving homosexual and transsexual persons but not their error—as Augustine once said, “Love not in the person his error, but the person; for the person God made, the error the person himself made”—then it is important for you to know that this ‘Hate’ Crimes bill will legally treat your love as hate. This is not pluralism, tolerance, and diversity. It is oppression. 

Since genuine intimidation and violence is already covered by the existing legal code, the ultimate purpose of such a bill can only be to intimidate those who speak out against the endorsement of homosexual practice and transsexualism. In the current political climate—obvious cases in point are repeated oppressions of any who dare speak against homosexual practice in Canada, England, and Scandinavia, to say nothing of sectors of the United States—one cannot assume that there is a common definition of what constitutes hate against homosexual and transsexual persons. Any public words against homosexual practice could be treated legally as words that incite others to violence and/or discrimination against homosexual persons, and thus subject to criminal prosecution. 

All that one needs to know about such a hate-speech bill can be summed up by the following conversation between two members of the House Committee on the Judiciary  on Apr. 25, 2007, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who opposed the “sexual orientation hate” law, and Congressman Arthur Davis (D-Alabama), who supported it (note that all 23 Democrats in the committee supported the Hate Crimes bill; all 17 Republicans opposed it).  

Congressman Gohmert: If a minister preaches that sexual relations outside of marriage of a man and woman is wrong, and somebody within that congregation goes out and does an act of violence, and that person says that that minister counseled or induced him through the sermon to commit that act, are you saying under your amendment that in no way could that ever be introduced against the minister?


Congressman Davis: No.

                                                                        (transcript here, quote from p. 206)

In other words, Gohmert was asking whether Davis’s amendment allegedly safeguarding free speech would prevent a pastor from being held legally liable if a parishioner who committed a violent act against a homosexual person misconstrued the pastor’s sermon as an inducement to violence. Davis’s answer was “no,” such a pastor might be held legally liable in such circumstances. Democrats also turned back an amendment proposed by Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana) to the effect that nothing in the bill should be construed as to “limit the religious freedom of any person or group under the Constitution.”  

Of course, even if a religious exemption amendment were passed, it would ultimately come to a bait-and-switch tactic. Once “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” infiltrate (one is tempted to say, penetrate) the legal system, they will ultimately prevail over any exemptions, including religious ones (recent developments in Britain make this clear). A “sexual orientation hate” crime bill does virtually all its damage in establishing “sexual orientation” as a category of being that is worth the federal government’s vigorous protection. A person who has a problem with the behavior arising from homosexual “orientation” will be legally established as a “bigot,” even if he or she does not commit a violent crime. That status becomes codified in law. 

If such a “sexual orientation hate” law would not have the effect of creating official societal acceptance of homosexual behavior, then why are supporters unwilling to include “pedosexual” or “pedophilic” orientation under the rubric of “sexual orientation”? The answer is clear: Such an inclusion would suggest societal validation for pedophilia. The very opposition by supporters to including pedophilia under “sexual orientation” is tacit acknowledgment that this bill provides implicit endorsement of homosexual practice and transgenderism. 

Once a hate-speech bill of this sort is passed a so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” (ENDA) is as certain to follow as night follows day. Indeed, already such legislation has been introduced into the House by homosexual congressman, Barney Frank. What could be wrong with that you ask? Surely persons applying for a secular job, who do their work without trying to foist acceptance of their behavioral practices on others, should be allowed as much safeguard against termination as, say, persons who engage in consensual adult incest or persistent adultery and fornication. The problem is that we have already seen in the corporate world that “diversity” policies around “sexual orientation” have been repeatedly abused. ENDA endangers your freedom of speech and your freedom of religion. It will turn out to be an EDA—an Employment Discrimination Act—against any who do not give their support to “Coming Out Days” in the workplace or who oppose “affirmative action” policies for self-identified “gays” and lesbians.  

Any critical remark against homosexual practice will carry the same legal and professional liability as any critical remark against an African American or a woman. You will say: But an impulse to do something that God expressly forbids in Scripture cannot be compared to an inherently benign, non-behavioral condition such as ethnicity and sex/gender. Your protest will not matter because the law will classify “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as comparable categories to race and sex. 

Numerous outcomes, some that will be manifested in the very short-term and others in the long-term, will arise from giving special federal protections to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” These include:  

  1. Suspension without pay from one’s place of employment and even outright termination if one declares in any way one’s opposition to homosexual practice or transgenderism, even if, as a white-collar employee, one makes such a declaration in a “letter to an editor” outside the domain of the workplace.

  2. Severe fines and, ultimately, loss of license for any media outlets (television stations, radio stations, newspapers, etc.) that allow messages critical of homosexual practice or transgenderism.

  3. Forced indoctrination of children as young as kindergarten in the public school systems into the acceptability of homosexual and transgendered behavior and the labeling of their parents’ contrary religious views as “bigotry” and “hatred,” through required readings, “GLBT studies,” and mandatory attendance at special diversity convocations or diversity workshops; also, mandatory “sensitivity training” for all teachers on the value of sexual orientation diversity.

  4. Loss of federal funds, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds for student loans, for any Christian college or seminary that does not hire homosexually active teachers, or that forbids students to engage in homosexual practice, or that allows a teacher at its institution to speak against homosexual practice; ultimately, the threat of loss of accreditation for Christian colleges that do not condone homosexual behavior and transgenderism; likewise, loss of tax-exempt status for any church that promotes such teaching.

  5. Large fines if one owns a business and does not allow GLBT (“gay,” lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) activists to make use of the business’s services to advance the GLBT agenda; moreover, having to pay the court costs of the government agency that prosecutes the case.

  6. Imposition of national gay marriage by the courts, through appeal to this newly formed federal civil liberties category of “sexual orientation.”

  7. Private civic organizations, as well as Christian camps and retreat centers, being fined or shut down if they do not allow their facilities to be used by persons or groups for homosexual activities (e.g., to host a “wedding” by a homosexual couple or for a meeting of a “gay choir”).

  8. Corporations forced to institute affirmative-hire programs for GLBTs as a necessary precaution against potential federal or civil lawsuits for “sexual orientation” discrimination.

  9. Students and employees required to get counseling for the alleged mental health condition of “homophobia” or risk expulsion.

  10. Having one’s child (whether a foster child, adopted child, or, eventually, one’s biological child) removed from one’s house if the parent opposes the child’s declaration of homosexual identity and activity.

For more than a dozen other likely negative outcomes go here. For those who contend that such outcomes could never occur in the United States by creating “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as federally protected categories, let them simply put their money where their mouth is and sign a notarized statement saying that they will pay the court costs and loss of income of anyone over the next ten years who finds him- or herself facing legal action or loss of employment over such matters. I doubt that there will be any takers.  

If the bill passes the Democratic-controlled House this Thursday, as it likely will, it will then go to the Senate. Contact your members of Congress toll-free at 1-877-851-6437 or 1-866-220-0044, or toll at 1-202-225-3121 to express your views about H.R. 1592 and any ENDA legislation. For direct contact information to your representative and senators, go to Also, call the White House at 202-456-1414 or 202-456-1111 (ask for the comment line) or send an email at or by using the White House Contact page. Urge the President to declare his intent to veto both pieces of legislation, should they pass in Congress. Do it for your children who, if they faithfully hold to a man-woman prerequisite for acceptable sexual behavior, will be treated legally and professionally in the United States as the equivalent of racists. 



  © 2007 Robert A. J. Gagnon