Update on Hate Crimes Bill

July 19, 2007 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Here is an update on the federal hate crimes bill that we expected to be voted on in the Senate this week from HRC’s legislative director Allison Herwitt:

After a protracted debate about the Iraq war, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid temporarily suspended consideration of the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization bill. Earlier, Senators Kennedy and Smith had filed hate crimes as a potential amendment to the DoD bill. As a result, consideration of both the bill and hate crimes will be delayed for the moment. Reid pulled the bill after the Levin-Reed amendment failed to garner the necessary 60 votes – a procedural hurdle needed to end a filibuster against the amendment. Levin-Reed would have called for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring. This could mean that a vote on hate crimes may not occur before Congress adjourns for its August recess.

Our congressional allies – including Senate leadership – remain committed to getting a vote on hate crimes this year. Senators Kennedy and Smith continue to look for ways to advance this crucial legislation.

We can use this delay to energize and mobilize our grassroots advocacy to strengthen support for hate crimes. HRC, along with our coalition allies, continues to make sure that our voices are heard. We encourage everyone to keep up the momentum to make the upcoming vote as strong as possible. Continue to call and write your senators and urge them to end violence.

Call your senators ASAP at 202/224-3121 and urge them to vote in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act, S. 1105.

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Congress, Hate Crimes, LGBT, Politics.

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