Evangelical activists, such as members of the Liberty Counsel, are urging GOP lawmakers to remove LGBTQ protections from an anti-lynching bill, reports Pink News.
The Justice for Victims of Lynching Act was passed unanimously on December 20th. The Act introduced a bill that would classify lynching as a federal crime and defines it as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person", in addition to classifying it as a hate crime, which would warrant enhanced sentences.
The Evangelical law firm Liberty Counsel is upset about the bill, as it includes protections for LGBTQ people and ethnic minorities. Mat Staver, the president of the Liberty Counsel is lobbying lawmakers in the House of Representatives to remove LGBTQ language removed from the law. He said, "…this would be the first time that you would have in federal law mentioning gender identity and sexual orientation, as part of this anti-lynching bill."
Staver also worries that by including LGBTQ protections in the bill, the US Government will add more anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ people. Many anti-discrimination laws have been blocked by the GOP but Staver is skeptical of this Act, saying that the LGBTQ protections are a way to sneak in pro-LGBTQ laws.
The Liberty Counsel has a history of spreading anti-LGBTQ propaganda, such as Staver falsely claiming that the first responders at the Pulse Nightclub massacre had to be tested for AIDS because of the exposure of the blood of the gay victims.
Like it or not, the religious Right does have some degree influence in US politics. But, since the decision to get the Act passed was unanimous, I doubt that the politicians that are being asked to remove LGBTQ protections from the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act will do so. What we have are ramblings of a few homophobic and misguided bigots.