Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hate stops here!

(Washington) Legislation that would add crimes based on sexuality to the federal hate crime law passed out of the House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday night and now heads to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.

Called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it would allow the Department of Justice to assist local authorities in investigating and prosecuting cases in which violence occurs.

"Law enforcement is now one step closer to getting the extra tools they need to combat hate violence,"said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese in a statement.

"Hate crimes continue to spread fear and violence among entire communities of Americans and currently, law enforcement can use these additional tools and resources to prevent and prosecute them."

The bill was introduced in the House in March. A companion bill was filed in the Senate earlier this month.

The measure passed the House in the last Congress but was dropped in the then Republican-controlled Senate last year.

Although the bill has bi-artisan support, with Democrats now in control of both houses in Congress it is seen as having a better chance of passage.

FBI statistics show that one in six hate crimes is motivated by the victim' sexual orientation.

The legislation has been endorsed by more than 210 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, including: the National Sheriffs' Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

The legislation also is strongly supported by the majority of Americans, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by Peter Hart Research Associates, found three in four voters favor strengthening hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.


nancy =) said...

well it sure as hell is about time...better late than never, i suppose...

what's so funny about peace love and understanding...

~ n

leone said...

Hi Don
Have you heard of this blog 'tagging' lark? I've just 'tagged' you - pop over to my place if you're interested.

Have a great weekend!

Leone xx