March 16, 2021 By Gabe Kaminsky
A new bill introduced by California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra in San Jose would prohibit police officers from serving if they have used arbitrarily defined “hate speech” or are affiliated with a “hate group.”
The bill, known as the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act (CLEAR Act), claims to combat “the infiltration of extremists in our law enforcement agencies” and would mandate a background check for all officers who have “exchanged racist and homophobic messages.”
Pacific Justice Institute Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds said this broad and purposefully arbitrary definition could give way for Christians and conservatives to be classified as “hateful” based on the premise of rejecting abortion or supporting Proposition 8 in California, a same-sex amendment that passed in 2008.
McReynolds also questioned how this would affect those of the Muslim faith — since many religious mosques and followers have taken a stance against homosexuality.
“Under the guise of addressing police gangs, the bill at the same time launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views,” wrote Reynolds. “Indeed, this is one of the most undisguised and appalling attempts we have ever seen, in more than 20 years of monitoring such legislation, on the freedom of association and freedom to choose minority viewpoints.”
According to this new Democratic bill, disagreeing on moral or religious grounds with homosexuality would technically mean the state GOP is espousing hate speech.