Speak Compassion

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Peter La Barbera: The Next Imus?

by @ 8:34 am. Filed under Americans For Truth, Gay News, Hate Crimes, hate speech

It seems Peter La Barbera has stepped up his efforts to defeat legislative attempts to add “perceived or actual sexual orientation” to the hate crimes protection act.   In a recent tirade on his website he reinforces the same lies he has been promoting for months, if not years, that adding gays and lesbians via the Matthew Shepard Bill would somehow silence Christians.  A statement the authors of the bill and most Americans have seen as false.

Senator Gordon Smith, a co-sponsor of the bill has already address on a very public platform that:

“This act is about the prosecution of crime, not prohibition of speech,’’ Smith said. “Unless they believe part of their religion is the practice of violence against others, they should not be affected by this bill.’’

Mr. La Babera writes in an email statement to Bob Schwartz from the Gay Liberation Network posted on his Americans for Truth website:

…. You’d love to censor groups like IFI and Americans for Truth, wouldn’t you? If you had the power, you’d want to shut us down or ban certain aspects of our speech and conduct?

Ban is a strong word and not one I would have chosen.  Peter chooses it because it helps further his fear tactics.    No one is out to defeat the First amendment, but I would love to see Peter and his anti-gay forces self-censor themselves.   Perhaps live up to the word “Truth” that is in the name of his organization.   Peter has become a victim of his own devices in the sense that the more he spews out the same rhetoric, the less credibility he has.   Americans for Truth has pride in its own lies even when those lies have been exposed.    For Peter to keep touting the same anti-gay lies,  the more he puts himself in the same spotlight as Fred Phelps.  With one in four Americans voters in support of adding gays to the hate crime act, Peter is discrediting himself by sticking to the same tactics that appear not to be working for him, but against him.   Even the average of intelligence can see that adding gays to hate crime legislation can see that this has no ability to trump Free Speech laws.

Peter continues his tirade with:

Would you favor using anti-discrimination hate speech laws to curb anti-gay speech? Which speech if any would you censor? Do you support anti-“hate speech” laws in Canada and England that are rapidly criminalizing (“discriminatory”) speech critical of homosexuality and are resulting in Christians being sued for discrimination or being jailed because they publicly oppose homosexual behavior?

Hate Speech laws aren’t effective in my opinion and I believe they just add to the bitterness that anti-gay folks like Peter feel toward gays and lesbians.   Shame would be a better protection against hate speech.   Look at the Imus situation and see how Imus said some things he regrets and apologized for them.   Imus had a sense of shame when he said things that were dehumanizing of others.  Mr. La Barbera on the other hand seems to feel a sense of righteousness and pride when he uses the lies of Paul Cameron to dehumanize others.    The flaws, the lies of about presenting the Paper to a respected scientific group, all of it has been exposed, yet Mr. La Barbera continues to tout the misinformation as if it were truth, when it clearly has been exposed as lies.   Again, this just makes Mr. La Barbera a victim of his own devices. 

Ban his speech you ask?  No, in fact I want Peter to have a larger audience and more often.   It seems the more he touts the lies and we refute them, the less credibility his speech will have.  Keep talking Peter, the more you talk, the more you help us.  You become the victim of your own devices.

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