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Upcoming Hate Crimes Vote Thursday

Jim Burroway

September 26th, 2007

Word has it that the Senate is expected to vote on the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. The anti-gay lobby knew this was coming, with it receiving nearly constant mention at the Family Impact Summit. At one point, the Family Research Council stopped selling their $20 DVD devoted to the subject and started handing it out to anyone who would take one. They’ve been pumping out tons of lies about what this legislation would supposedly do.

I encourage you to inform yourself, read the text of the bill (which I’ve posted three times, something hate crime opponents refuse to do), and call your Senator.

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September 26th, 2007 | LINK

Will this be as an amendment to another bill? Do you know which one?

Bill Perdue
September 26th, 2007 | LINK

The Matthew Sheppard Act has its shortcomings; the penalties are not harsh enough to deter hate crimes and they don’t routinely include the politicians and religious fanatics who fan the flames of bigotry and violence. Whatever its weaknesses, though, the bill is urgently needed. The last few weeks have see a marked upturn in harassment and violence against gays and lesbians. This spike is identical to those of 2000 and 2004 and related to the barrage of antigay election rhetoric.

During elections Republicans and christian bigots increase the volume of their bigoted attacks on the GLBT communities. The Democrats response, slicker and quieter but no less damaging, says that we don’t deserve the right to be married. The combination of Democratic rejection of full equality, Republican scapegoating and christian hatemongering places us in the hazardous position of second class citizenship, of people who don’t deserve equal treatment.

That message is heard loud and clear by violence prone thugs. I’m afraid that the upsurge in beatings and even murders means we’re in for rough times again.

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