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Threat to Free Speech in the Pulpit

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Sunday, December 8, 2002

Threat to Free Speech in the Pulpit

The Democratic governor of Pennsylvania has signed into law a measure that gives homosexuals statewide legal protection from verbal harassment and hate crimes.

Critics of the law say if it is strictly enforced, it might prevent preachers from saying that homosexual practice is a sin and the lifestyle abhorrent.

What amazes me about this law is the same thing that stunned me about a law restricting protests at abortion clinics (a law the Supreme Court is considering for its constitutionality this session). The homosexual speech law in Pennsylvania singles out a special group and class of people and says that, while one can insult a heterosexual, one cannot speak the truth about a homosexual.

I cannot believe this law will stand a court challenge. If free speech means anything – especially for preachers – it means the freedom to speak the truth as they believe it. The answer to offensive speech is not less, but more speech.

The Pennsylvania law is a political stunt. It should not be allowed to stand.

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.

Threat to Free Speech in the Pulpit