Tue, 26 June 2007
A hate crime is any crime which has been committed against another person solely because of that person's race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, or age. Hate crime legislation has been on the books since the middle of the 20th Century, but that legislation has never included sexual orientation.
Now, in this historic time, we face the possibility of righting this wrong in the form of a bill before the Senate. This bill would amend the hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and extend protection to a group of Americans who have not had such protection up until now. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives, and when it passes the Senate, it will go to President Bush.
President Bush has been against this type of legislation since he made the statement in 2000 that "all crimes are hate crimes" during one of his televised debates. Ironically, it is one of the positions he took in his campaign that he has not reversed, and he has threatened this bill with a veto. This threat, and the extremely well-coordinated efforts of groups like the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and others who use religious beliefs to justify discrimination, have made some senators nervous about voting for such an important piece of legislation.
These groups have used outright lies to stall this legislation, stating that the law would put a preacher in jail for speaking out against homosexuality. In fact, the law recognizes that the First Amendment protects such speech, and does not attempt to control or criminalize it at all. Yet, the campaign of misinformation continues, and it could derail such an important piece of legislation. We can fight lies with the truth, and the truth could literally set millions of Americans free.
I am asking anyone reading this blog to watch this short video below, then ask five of your friends to do the same, then call or email your senator and ask them to vote for the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. If you would like further information on how to contact your senator or how you can assist further with our efforts to get the truth out, then follow this link to find out more. Thanks in advance for helping spread the word!
Category:Extras -- posted at: 11:43pm EDT
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