Conservatives Keep Close Watch on Hate Crimes Law

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Christian conservatives are vowing to keep a close eye on how new hate crimes laws are enforced.

The measure signed into law by President Obama, Wednesday, added homosexuals to the list of federally protected groups from violent crimes.

It gives the Justice Department power to take over alleged hate crimes cases if it feels a state or locality is unwilling or unable to prosecute.

Language was added to the law to protect religious speech, but Republican congressman Mike Pence told CBN News it's not enough.

"Whatever language they added has an escape hatch and we know from experience at the state level and around the globe that this represents a real infringement of the freedom of religion, freedom of expression of Americans," he said.

Click here to watch more of Pence's interview with CBN News.  Also, get his take on pain and biblical perserverance on the Beltway Buzz blog.

Congressman pence also told us pastors could be punished under the new law for preaching biblically- held beliefs against homosexuality.

"If you aid, embed or induce in the commission of a federal crime you're guilty of that crime," Pence continued. "Someone could preach a sermon out of Romans 1 about sexual practices and if someone was inspired by malevolent intent in some way to go out and commit an act of violence that pastor, that minister, that priest could be held liable under current federal law."


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