(July 11, 2007) Today Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Smith (R-OR) introduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1585), which is being debated in the Senate this week and next. This amendment could be voted on as early as today. In short, today transgender people are one giant step closer to gaining federal hate crimes protections!
The language of today’s amendment is identical language to that of S. 1105, which the Senators introduced in April. But to ensure that the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act becomes law, you must contact your Senators now and urge them to support this life-saving legislation. As you read this, the Radical Right is mobilizing their base to oppose the federal hate crimes bill. They’re using scare tactics and flat-out lies in hopes of killing Kennedy’s amendment. Make sure that your Senators hear your voice and the true importance of this bill.
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would:
- Extend existing federal protections to include “gender identity, sexual orientation, gender and disability”;
- Allow the Justice Department to assist in hate crime investigations at the local level when local law enforcement is unable or unwilling to fully address these crimes;
- Mandate that the FBI begin tracking hate crimes based on actual or perceived gender identity; and
- Remove limitations that narrowly define hate crimes to violence committed while a person is accessing a federally protected activity, such as voting.
To find your Senators’ contact information, please click here. The time to act is now! Call your Senators today and urge your friends and family to do the same!