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Liberty Counsel wants gays removed from anti-lynching bill

Photo credit:
Mat Staver - Liberty Counsel

The Liberty Counsel, a non-profit Evangelical group would like to see LGBT verbiage removed from an anti-lynching bill.

The Justice for Victims of Lynching Act is a bill passed by The U.S. Senate last month which would make lynchings motivated by a victim's “actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability" a federal crime.

But Mat Staver, The Liberty Council's chairman doesn't want LGBT people listed under its umbrella of protections according to NBC. He says the bill used a "back door" approach to further the LGBT agenda. 

"The old saying is once that camel gets the nose in the tent, you can't stop them from coming the rest of the way in," Staver said in an interview with OneNewsNow, a conservative Christian news outlet. “This is a way to slip it in under a so-called anti-lynching bill, and to then to sort of circle the wagon and then go for the juggler [sic] at some time in the future."

In the interview, Staver says his organization -- labeled as a "hate group" by Southern Poverty Law -- is campaigning for the House to do away with the "sexual orientation” and “gender identity” language before they vote.

Liberty Counsel has not made an official statement on the subject according to NBC. 

The bill was introduced by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.back in June and was passed by the Senate in December, Booker called it “an emotional and historic day.”

“For over a century, members of Congress have attempted to pass some version of a bill that would recognize lynching for what it is: a bias-motivated act of terror. And for more than a century, and more than 200 attempts, this body has failed,” Booker added. “We have righted that wrong and taken corrective action that recognizes this stain on our country’s history.”

One commenter on the OneNewsNow site says Staver is factually wrong. 

"Federal hate crime law (Title 18, Chapter 13, Subsection 249) already declared hurting or killing someone because of 'religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability' to be a federal crime," SFEley writes. "Those protections for LGBTQ people were already established. The only thing the anti-lynching bill does is copy the same language and apply the same penalties to anyone who was part of a group with that intention."