Press

NGLTF Deplores Recent Explosions In The South; Urges Clinton And Reno To Investigate As Hate Crimes

Date: 
January 29, 1998

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) today urged President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno to look into two separate explosions in the south that occurred this week. The first explosion rocked a black-owned newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi and the second one, earlier today, ripped through a women's health clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Today's explosion killed one person.

"I am concerned that these incidents are more examples of the kind of deadly hate violence we have seen in the south over the past two years," said NGLTF Executive Director Kerry Lobel. Two years ago there was a bombing at Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics and last year both a lesbian bar and a women's health clinic were bombed in Atlanta. At the same time, African-American churches in the south were destroyed by arson.

"The President recently completed a day-long hate crimes summit at the White House last fall. At the summit, he renewed his commitment to addressing bias crimes. Today, I call upon the Administration to vigorously investigate these heinous acts and let those who would continue to bring a rein of terror on their neighbors because of differences in race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or exercising of reproductive rights know that there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide."

At the White House summit Lobel presented Clinton with over 700 petitions signed by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community throughout the country condemning hate violence. She also urged the President to speak out more forcefully against hate crimes and to support legislative proposals to ensure that federal officials have the necessary tools to prosecute bias crimes. In addition, she called for the adequate training of law enforcement officials.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.