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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,”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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