Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Throws Out Anti-Gay Pastors Group Challenge to the Hate Crimes Act
A Sixth Circuit appellate court has thrown out a lawsuit in which a group of anti-LGBT pastors claimed the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act violated their civil liberties.
The group headed by Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan, and pastors Levon Yuille, René B. Ouellette and James Combs who were represented by the ultra conservative Thomas More Legal Center had argued the law would lead to their criminal prosecution for expressing anti-gay religious beliefs, in violation of the First Amendment.
The appeals court, in an opinion by Judge James S. Gwin, said the pastors lacked standing to sue, because the law prohibits only “willfully causing bodily injury.”
And in what can only be seen as a backhanded smack Judge Gein added “The Act does not prohibit Plaintiffs’ proposed course of hateful speech,”