Press

Task Force Action Fund urges for removal of death penalty amendment from Department of Defense authorization bill

Date: 
July 20, 2009

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Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
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(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

"It is long past time to send a clear and unequivocal message that hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be tolerated — but it must be done in a way that saves lives, not ends them."
— National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Rea Carey

WASHINGTON, July 20 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund responded today to the U.S. Senate’s approval of an amendment that would expand the federal death penalty, as part of the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill. Last week, the Senate approved inclusive hate crimes provisions as part of the DOD bill.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

"Opponents of hate crimes legislation have pushed for a death penalty amendment in the hopes of stopping passage of the hate crimes measure. This tactic is disingenuous, outrageous and immoral. There is still time to strike the amendment from the Department of Defense authorization bill when it shifts to conference committee.

The death penalty is profoundly unjust and inhumane. It is not a deterrent, nor will it reduce the number or severity of hate crimes. Conversely, capital punishment is state-sponsored brutality that perpetuates violence rather than ending it. The death penalty is also disproportionately applied to poor people and people of color, and in no manner does it improve a criminal justice system that is deeply plagued with inequities and discrimination against marginalized groups. For these reasons, it is critical the death penalty amendment be stripped from the DOD authorization bill. It is long past time to send a clear and unequivocal message that hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be tolerated — but it must be done in a way that saves lives, not ends them."


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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.