Pennsylvania Goes After Thought Crimes

Susan Jones,

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002

A bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature may make it illegal for preachers to quote Bible passages condemning homosexuality, according to a group that opposes the measure.

The bill, passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Tuesday night, is now on its way to Gov. Mark Schweiker, who says he will sign it.

The measure amends the state's Ethnic Intimidation Act to include "sexual orientation, gender or gender identity." The pro-family Urban Family Council worries that the bill will be enforced too liberally.

William Devlin, the group's president, is advising pastors and churches across Pennsylvania to "obtain some very good liability insurance and contact an attorney if the pastor intends to continue faithfully preaching the Word."

According to Devlin, "This bill is so broad that if you have an attender at your church who feels offended or intimidated by what is said from the pulpit, you and your church leadership will be receiving certified letters inviting you to either a deposition or a court appearance."



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