The religious right Famly Council has announced its opposition to SB 622, the substitute hate crimes legislation that doesn’t mention hate or delineate protected classes of people.

It is right on the bill if wrong on the issue.

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I had a feeling this would happen. The substitute is not hateful enough for the Family Council.

If there must be additional protection for classes of people, it must be clear in the Family Council’s view that sexual orientation and gender identity are NOT included. Overt discrimination for these groups is preferred.

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The statement from Jerry Cox of Family Council, described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its bitter opposition to a variety of human rights issues:

 “We have taken a few hours to thoughtfully review and consider the merits of S.B. 622. Our conclusion is that this bill’s language is vague and subjective. The bill fails to define important terms like ‘recognizable and identifiable.’ This bill is so ambiguous that it’s impossible to know just how far-reaching this legislation may be.”

Cox said he is concerned S.B. 622 could carry serious, unintended consequences. “S.B. 622’s protections for religious liberty are not adequate. The bill does not contain sufficient safeguards to prevent cities and counties from enacting their own, more stringent hate crimes ordinances. It does not do enough to protect free speech or prevent thought-policing. These are serious concerns.”

Cox said Family Council will oppose S.B. 622. “This is a vague bill that could have serious, unintended consequences. We intend to oppose it.”

We’ve already said the bill was vague and subjective and lacked definition. I fault it for not being clear enough about protecting minorities who regularly face violence and discrimination. Cox thinks it’s too likely to be interpreted as doing that. What if a city adopted a hate crime ordinance that protected LGBT people? The Family Council would NOT be happy.

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FYI, Jerry: Little Rock has already passed such an ordinance. Not to worry. It specifically protects religious bigots.

This could be the death knell for the hate crimes compromise. The Family Council drove the hateful anti-trans legislation that passed the House by overwhelming vote Thursday. They take names and call churches about legislative apostates.