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Black pastors challenge hate law

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Black pastors challenge hate law

A Black pastor who is challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted federal “Hate Crimes Act” says he’s offended by comparisons to the civil rights struggles of African-Americans with those who engage in homosexual behavior.

Pastor Levon Yuille of The Bible Church, outside Detroit, has joined three other ministry leaders in filing a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. They are concerned, among other things, that under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, those who speak out against homosexuality could be prosecuted.

Yuille said he also finds it insulting to equate what he called the supposed “civil rights” struggle of homosexuals with the real civil rights struggle of African Americans.

 “I feel like individuals (are) demeaning the Black community in trying to equate us to what someone chooses to do sexually,” Yiulle said. “The totality of Black people is far greater than what one would prefer to do in expressing themselves in the manner I’ve already stated.”

The pastor says the spotlight should be on how the HIV virus is devastating his community – women in particular.

“I’m most certainly disheartened to see that there’s so little focus being placed on this issue relative to so many Black men participating in heterosexual and homosexual behavior – and ultimately and regrettably a lot of Black women contract AIDS through this type of behavior,” he said. 

Pastor Yuille says he is taking a stand for truth, and believes he is doing what is right from a biblical, social, and health perspective.

The lawsuit against Holder was filed last week by the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center. Joining Yuille in the suit are Pastors Rene Ouellette and James Combs, and American Family Association of Michigan president Gary Glenn.

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