SCLC addresses Hate Crimes Bill

The federal hate crimes bill could get a facelift. There's new reaction to the new hate crimes bill from a Mid-South minister that preaches justice and tolerance.

Some worry the new language of the law would affect the way some ministers preach from the pulpit. That law would block their first amendment right to speaking freely about their beliefs.

The Southern Christian Leadership Council gathered for a news conference early Wednesday morning to address several issues.

The Hate Crimes Bill was one of them.

Reverend Dwight Montgomery says the SCLC is dedicated to preserving the principles set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both the national and local chapter of the SCLC continue to study the proposed hate crimes legislation to determine what stance the council should take.

Montgomery argues no one should be surprised whatever that stance turns out to be since, he says, the SCLC is plodding through the language of the law.

"We're certainly concerned, being an ecumenically and racially diverse group that we're open to dialogue and to bring forth justice and equality for all," he says.

Montgomery also announced the SCLC's Tour for Equality and Justice.

That tour kicks off next Tuesday and will wind through West Memphis for a rally addressing the DeAuntae Farrow investigation.


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