In an "open letter to the black community" televangelist Rev. Harry Jackson Jr. is calling on African-Americans to oppose the Matthew Shepard Act, the Senate version of the LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill that recently passed in the House. Jackson: "As a pastor, I am concerned about the potential of being charged with a crime as the result of the actions of someone who may have attended my church, heard my sermons, or read my articles. I, like other pastors, do not preach hate. The black church has historically preached love and repentance. I cannot, however, guarantee that a subjective interpretation of this hate crime legislation will not define my biblical messages as hate speech."
Jackson notes that the bill already has broad support from many with the black community, accusing those organizations of having been "influenced by the huge dollars that gay lobbyists bring to the political table." (I guess he's forgotten the huge grant his church got from Bush for his "healthy marriage" initiative.) Jackson has been a vocal supporter of the Bush regime and is considered their "go-to" guy for rallying support from evangelical blacks. There is still no apparent date set for the Senate vote on the hate crimes bill, which a recent poll shows enjoys broad popular support from the public.
RELATED: According to today's HRC alert, Christian activists are currently swamping Senate offices with calls to vote against the Matthew Shepard Act. Use the HRC template to contact your Senator and urge their support. My senators, Clinton and Schumer of New York, are on board. Are yours?