Senator Pushing for Pennsylvania ‘Hate Crimes’ Law Comes Out of Closet: ‘I’m Gay and I Love It’

ferloHARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania senator that is pushing for the passage of a controversial homosexual hate crimes bill of concern to Christians came out of the closet this week in announcing himself as being “gay” and “lov[ing] it.”

“Hundreds of people know I’m gay. I just never made an official declaration,” declared Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh) on Tuesday. “I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I’m gay. Get over it. I love it. It’s a great life.”

Ferlo was speaking at a press conference organized to announce his proposal to reinstate hate crimes legislation in Pennsylvania, which would mandate additional and severe criminal penalties against those who harm homosexuals. The previous state law had been struck down following a challenge from Christians who were charged under the statute for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ at a “gay pride” event and faced nearly half a century behind bars.

The reintroduction of the bill follows a recent incident in Philadelphia, where two men and a woman are facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy for allegedly beating two homosexual men in the city. Ferlo, a Roman Catholic, believes that additional penalties should be imposed because of the men’s “sexual orientation” as reports claim that slurs were used in the attack.

But Fortunato Perri Jr., one of the attorneys in the case, said that the incident had nothing to do with homosexuality.

“In no way, shape or form was this incident related to anyone’s sexual orientation,” he stated on Wednesday. “This was a mutual confrontation that started because two individuals got into an argument out in the street.”

Attorney Louis Busico agreed.

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“[My client] is absolutely not homophobic and she didn’t utter any slur to anyone whatsoever,” he said. “We don’t deny that there was a gentleman who was assaulted.”

In outlining his proposal in light of the incident, Ferlo explained that the matter was personal and that he wanted to introduce the bill since he would be leaving office in November.

“I apologize for saying this so late in life, but I am not any longer going to be in the state Senate, and I know that many people do not report hate crimes because of the fear of being out,” he said.

But some oppose hate crime legislation out of concern that the enactment of such laws will further create an environment for a police state, criminalizing any individual whose conduct is loosely interpreted by law enforcement as being “harmful” and posing a serious threat to free speech and biblical evangelism.

The Philadelphia 11
The Philadelphia 11

In 2004, a group of Christians known as the “Philadelphia 11” made national headlines after being charged with a “hate crime” for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ on the public streets of Philadelphia during an annual taxpayer-funded celebration of homosexuality called “Outfest.”

Simply by preaching the word of God, singing songs of praise and carrying banners with Scripture verses, the Christians were viewed by local law enforcement as being a “threat” and were subsequently arrested. At the same time, police ignored homosexual attendees who were seeking to drown out the Christians by encircling them with large pink placards while blowing loud, screeching whistles.

After being jailed for 21 hours, each of the Philadelphia 11 was charged under Pennsylvania’s “hate crimes” law called “ethnic intimidation.” The then statute, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2710, prohibited offenses “with malicious intention toward the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity of another individual or group of individuals.”

The Philadelphia 11 were also charged with a host of other felony and misdemeanor charges, including “criminal conspiracy” and “possession of an instrument of crime” for holding signs and using amplification equipment to speak. Each faced a possible sentence of up to 47 years in prison along with a $90,000 fine.

After several months of looming criminal charges, the Philadelphia 11 were finally vindicated of all counts, but Christians nationwide became alarmed in observing the serious ramifications of the law and how it can be used against free speech and evangelism.

Following the incident, in 2006, the Philadelphia 11 challenged Pennsylvania’s “hate crimes” law as being unconstitutional, taking to task then-Gov. Ed Rendell in Marcavage, et al. v. Rendell, et al. Although not based on the merits of the law, both the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed that legislators violated the state constitution by altering an agricultural crop destruction bill into a bill protecting people based on “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” which was used in charging the Christians.

“The original purpose of HB 1493, viewed in reasonably broad terms, was to criminalize crop destruction,” the court ruled. “As ultimately enacted, HB 1493 expanded the classification of persons protected under the offense of ethnic intimidation.”

Ferlo now seeks to reinstate the hate crimes law, which some believe is unnecessary as it is already a crime to physically injure a person for any reason.

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  • James Grimes

    Another self-serving liberal Democrat. Rather than serving all his constituents, he is serving himself. I hope the people remember this during the next election.

    • MattFCharlestonSC

      He already stated that he is leaving office in November. Are you opposed to all hate crime legislation, or just hate crime legislation against homosexuals?

      • James Grimes

        Not that it makes any difference to this discussion, I am opposed to all self-serving politicians. Now, does that make you feel better?

    • alnga

      James I agree with you, but also you should indict the Republicans on the same grounds when it occurs. Politicians are not statesmen do not confuse the two. we are much better served if we pick and choose the candidates most likely to do the right thing rather than the party thing.

  • Marie Adigwe

    That was a hate crime. If you beat somebody up over sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. while spouting slurs at them, that’s a hate crime.

    • Sonny Fellers

      moron troll

      • Marie Adigwe

        Oh how loving and Christian of you. If they’re shouting slurs at people for being homosexual or for any other reason, then it’s a hate crime.

        • Sonny Fellers

          Fortunato Perri Jr., one of the attorneys in the case, said that the incident had nothing to do with homosexuality. “In no way, shape or form was this incident related to anyone’s sexual orientation,” he stated on Wednesday. “This was a mutual confrontation that started because two individuals got into an argument out in the street.” Attorney Louis Busico agreed. “[My client] is absolutely not homophobic and she didn’t utter any slur to anyone whatsoever,” he said. “We don’t deny that there was a gentleman who was assaulted.” … so are you people commenting without reading the article just to stir up shit … or are you genuinely trying to stir up shit despite reading the article because you are just as self centered and arrogant as Sen Ferlo for his new “look at me” legislation?

          • Marie Adigwe

            I read it, but do you know how often attorneys twist the truth to get their clients off the hook?

  • bowie1

    Isn’t it a conflict of interest when legislation is passed that serves a personal interest?

    • James Grimes

      Absolutely, it is. Unfortunately, it happens with politicians in both parties.

  • jennylynn

    I wouldn’t be too worried about being thrown into jail for preaching the Gospel which is so offensive to them. They don’t even have enough money to keep criminals locked up and there going to try to stop the gospel from going forth. I am sure jail would also be a good place to preach to homsexuals.

  • Carol Cantell Moorby

    He won’t be loving it for long……….wait and see,

  • alnga

    We are all at risk, but if we are to be imitators of God in Jesus Christ then we must approach the sinner with love and not bash them over the head. To do what the 11 did sounds good but really was bad timing. You do not win conviction through embarrassment. Plant your seed of the Word a let the Holy Spirit of God do His work..

  • What37

    No special laws for anybody – a crime is a crime. We don’t need more laws, we need less – we just need to enforce the one’s we have. Multiplication of laws is nonsense, a game played by politicians to make it appear as if they are doing something.

  • Joshua Krug

    He can’t be a Catholic.


      Joshua Krug, He may claim to be Catholic.But don’t believe what the GOOD BOOK say’s about homosexual behavior.All he is doing is laughing at GOD; but I have news for him;GOD WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH THEN IT WON’T BE SO FUNNY TO HIM

  • Joel Rivera

    Well it’s just about time for a hate crime bill that protects Christians from being sued or attacked for having a simple difference of opinion without having to be forced to conform to and give affirmation to the life style.

  • Avrie

    Gays are always being offended about something. This liberal Democrat Senator sounds like he wants to advertise his gayness. He’s suppose to be serving the people not himself. There’s laws for hate crimes why do we need more? Sounds like this is a useless effort.

  • BarkingDawg

    Good for him.

    See? The world didn’t end.

  • Ohso

    Kinda Reminds me of CA Senator Mark “Kiddie Porn King” Leno and his Larry Brinkin Posse:

    “…In 2011, California passed Senate Bill 48, the Orwellian-labeled “FAIR Education Act.” It requires that the “historical contributions” of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” be included in courses, instructional material, and textbooks in California Public Schools.

    Furthermore, the law includes prohibition of any “materials that reflect adversely” on LGBT persons or the movement.

    This onerous law was the result of a well-crafted campaign by the homosexual lobby, spearheaded by a homosexual activist state legislator, and actively supported by the liberal press.…/gay-history/index.html

    BTW – Leno Earned the title “Kiddie Porn King” after his Brinkin Bill (AB 50) making huge “kiddie Porn” collections a misdemeanor failed, barely.…/californias-fight-over…/

    San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession:

  • Kimo

    This is just part of the increasing persecution against Christians in America.

  • jmichael39

    I do love the thought police…(not really, but they already knew that because they know my thoughts)