Until someone repeals the First Amendment, it seems unlikely that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) needs to worry about anyone passing legislation that would make it illegal for pastors or other Christians to “preach biblical truths on marriage.” Of course, the fact that they might get slammed for calling the lies they spew truths is another matter all together.
Cruz spoke to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody when he stated that “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage that’s the next step of where it gets enforced. It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”
He goes on to say “I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see us end up in that same place.”
We would, of course, challenge Cruz to actually produce the names of the nations that have banned preaching about the ‘evils’ of same-sex marriage, but I fear he may have a hard time coming up with them. Some nations have very strict hate speech laws which have tripped up a number of pastors. Ironically, Equador appears to be the only one that has actually arrested and fined someone for preaching against homosexuality.
The thing is, the United States has tried to pass hate speech laws, but been unable to under the First Amendment. What Cruz is hoping is that people do not realize that most nations do not have as liberal a free speech law as the United States. Under the Canadian Constitution, hate speech is illegal against anyone who is listed as a protected group.
In fact, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 1992 ruling for the majority that hate speech was protected. In fact, there is a ton of case law saying that hate speech is protected by the Constitution.
Unfortunately, that isn’t going to stop Cruz from fear mongering and trying to convince the ignorant that their bigotry is protected by the Constitution.