Earlier this year a group of plaintiffs from Michigan, represented by the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center, filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed in 2009, violated their religious freedom and freedom of speech rights. The judge dismissed the case this week.
The plaintiffs include Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association – Michigan; Levon Yuille, pastor of The Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan; René B. Ouellette, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Michigan; and James Combs, pastor of four different churches in the state.
So, for now, the Hate Crimes law is safe. That’s good. The way things are going, it may end up being the only LGBT bill signed into law by President Obama. (I wish I was joking about that, but I’m increasingly worried that it will prove to be true.)