July 14, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 28
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Saturday, Sep 26, 2020



Federal hate crimes legislation falters in the U.S. Senate
Federal hate crimes legislation falters in the U.S. Senate
Late last week, on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Edward Kennedy asked for unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to consider sex-offender legislation, S. 1086, and that the Kennedy-Smith legislation be considered as an amendment to that bill. The presiding officer of the Senate, at the request of Majority Leader Senator Bill Frist, objected, thus apparently ending any chance for a Senate vote on hate crimes legislation in connection with S. 1086.

Statement by Eleanor (Eldie) Acheson, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

"The prospects for a Senate hate crimes bill that its sponsors, Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Gordon Smith, intended to be fully inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people were diminished on Thursday, May 4, when the Senate majority objected to Senator Kennedy's effort to bring the measure to the floor for a vote. The majority's blocking a chance for the Senate to vote for hate crimes protections was no doubt the intolerant and regrettable bidding of its extreme right-wing base.

"Despite this development, the 109th Congress has been a net gain in the campaign for federal hate crimes protection for the LGBT community. The strong bipartisan votes in the House of Representatives adding an explicitly Transgender-inclusive hate crimes amendment to a crime bill, and then passing that crime bill as so amended, makes clear that the support and votes for a clearly inclusive measure are indeed there in the House, and we believe that the same is true in the Senate.

"And there is no question that the critical need for this legislation continues, as senators Kennedy and Smith have so eloquently and resolutely reminded us in their long and much appreciated leadership on this issue. We continue to hope and work for opportunities in the 109th Congress to advance fully inclusive hate crimes legislation."

A NGLTF press release

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