And the Hate Crimes Bill will not impinge upon Church teaching regarding homosexuality?
That is what many homosexual activists want people to believe, while accusing of lying or exaggeration those contending the opposite. There are grave concerns the federal hate crimes bill - currently before the senate - has the potential to limit freedom of speech and religion. The bill clearly states that "courts may consider relevant evidence of speech, beliefs, or expressive conduct to the extent that such evidence is offered to prove an element of a charged offense or is otherwise admissible." (Source) Opponents to the bill (including the ACLU) are concerned that it's passage would allow that any politician, pastor, preacher, priest, rabbi or imam who teaches or makes statements, based upon their moral traditions - that homosexual acts are disordered, unnatural or immoral - could be found guilty of a federal crime.
Charges of thought crimes have been brought against public figures elsewhere - Europe and Canada to be specific. European homosexualists have started to use repressive powers of state to silence expressions of opposition... as implied by British pro-homosexual activist Peter Bradley's e-mail to AFTAH stating, “You are very lucky that you live in the United States as we have laws in the United Kingdom about inciting hatred based on sexual orientation… here you would be imprisoned; and justly so.” - Source
Under such hate crime legislation - which BTW protects a special group of people who already have the same equal protection under the law as other US citizens - it is entirely likely that church groups and/or religious leaders could face prosecution for inciting hatred if and when an individual act of discrimination or violence perpetrated against a protected group could be blamed upon a specific religious teaching, or even a homily condemning immoral sexual acts, and so on. After all, it is part of the gay agenda...
At least for people like David Bohnett...
“We must treat the causes of intolerance and bullying as well as the symptoms of them,” he remarked. “And as we see most often, it is the evangelical and fundamentalist groups that teach homosexuality is a sin, who stand in the way of fairness and equality.
“It’s time to combat head-on the religious organizations that are funding the opposition to marriage equality and safe school legislation.”
Let us make it known, however, that we will challenge those religious leaders and institutions that shamefully and cowardly use the imprimatur of their church and the name of god [sic] and Jesus to promote hatred and bigotry toward lesbians and gay men,” Bohnett declared. “Among our greatest adversaries who actively work against us are the leaders of the Catholic, Mormon, and evangelical churches who seek to deny equal protection for us and for our children.”
“The bible [sic] is all too often used as a weapon against us, quoted and misquoted by those who seek to deny us freedom and equality,” he continued, arguing that children taught that the Bible condemns homosexuality may become “school bullies” and later become the adults who vote “to deny marriage equality.”
“It’s time we raise our children to be independent thinkers and deeply suspicious of bible beating organized religion. We’d be much better off if parents were honest with their children about the hypocrisy of some churches with regard to homosexuality.”
Bohnett then outlined tactics to "counter faith based discrimination,” saying it is an obligation to take “active measures” to create a world “free of bigotry and intolerance.” He advised an “aggressive response” to critics that “confronts lies with facts” and also a “preemptive campaign” that anticipates the arguments of homosexual activists’ opponents and undermines their credibility.
He said activists should speak with friends, family and co-workers about “religious intolerance as one of the main impediments to progress in the march toward full equality for lesbians and gay men and their families.” - David Bohnett, acceptance speech for his GLSEN award, October 9, 2009 Respect Awards
Talk about an agenda, or the slippery slope of hate crimes legislation. Strange twist to the term religious intolerance as well - from my perspective it seems obvious gays are the ones intolerant of Catholic teaching.
So anyway: The Catholic Church is NOT homophopic.
Those opposed to homosexual behavior are often charged with "homophobia"—that they hold the position they do because they are "afraid" of homosexuals. Sometimes the charge is even made that these same people are perhaps homosexuals themselves and are overcompensating to hide this fact, even from themselves, by condemning other homosexuals.
Both of these arguments attempt to stop rational discussion of an issue by shifting the focus to one of the participants. In doing so, they dismiss another person’s arguments based on some real or supposed attribute of the person. In this case, the supposed attribute is a fear of homosexuals.
Like similar attempts to avoid rational discussion of an issue, the homophobia argument completely misses the point. Even if a person were afraid of homosexuals, that would not diminish his arguments against their behavior. The fact that a person is afraid of handguns would not nullify arguments against handguns, nor would the fact that a person might be afraid of handgun control diminish arguments against handgun control.
Furthermore, the homophobia charge rings false. The vast majority of those who oppose homosexual behavior are in no way "afraid" of homosexuals. A disagreement is not the same as a fear. One can disagree with something without fearing it, and the attempt to shut down rational discussion by crying "homophobe!" falls flat. It is an attempt to divert attention from the arguments against one’s position by focusing attention on the one who made the arguments, while trying to claim the moral high ground against him.
The Call to Chastity.
The modern arguments in favor of homosexuality have thus been insufficient to overcome the evidence that homosexual behavior is against divine and natural law, as the Bible and the Church, as well as the wider circle of Jewish and Christian (not to mention Muslim) writers, have always held.
The Catholic Church thus teaches: "Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357).
However, the Church also acknowledges that "[homosexuality’s] psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. . . . The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties that they may encounter from their condition.
"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection" (CCC 2357– 2359). - Source
Support for Catholics with homosexual inclination: http://www.couragerc.net/