But the appeals court found that the plaintiffs had "not alleged any actual intent" to cause bodily injury to any gay individuals, pointing out that the pastors explicitly denounced "crimes of violence perpetrated against innocent individuals."
The Hate Crimes Act, the appeals court ruled, "does not prohibit Plaintiffs' proposed course of hateful speech" and said they "can't quite pinpoint what it is they want to say that could subject them to prosecution under the Hate Crimes Act." [Editor's note: an updated version of the opinion removes the word "hateful" from the opinion, but a cached version makes clear that the original opinion included the word "hateful.")
Even if they quoted Leviticus 20:13, which called for men who have sex with one another to be put to death, "they have not alleged any intention to do more than merely quote it," which wouldn't be unlawful under the Hate Crimes Act, the appeals court ruled.
"If the Hate Crimes Act prohibits only willfully causing bodily injury and Plaintiffs are not planning to willfully injure anybody, then what is their complaint? Plaintiffs answer that they fear wrongful prosecution and conviction under the Act. Not only is that fear misplaced, it's inadequate to generate a case or controversy the federal courts can hear," the appeals court ruled.
The full opinion is embedded below.