Press

Task Force, Inc., responds to White House threat of veto of hate crimes legislation

Date: 
August 08, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358
rsklar@theTaskForce.org

“The provisions of this legislation are extremely narrow, however not as narrow as the minds of the current administration.”
— Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 — White House spokesman Tony Fratto yesterday said that President Bush plans to veto any bill to which the Matthew Shepard Act (MSA) is attached. Fratto said: “The qualifications [in the bill] are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate crimes elements. The proposals they’re talking about are not sufficiently narrow.”

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

“The provisions of this legislation are extremely narrow, however not as narrow as the minds of the current administration.

“The legislation establishes narrow and specific guidelines for determining whether an incident constitutes a hate crime, including a provision that prohibits the consideration of any evidence not directly linked to the incident, which is why it has the support of law enforcement and civil liberty advocates such as the ACLU.

“The provisions of this legislation are identical to those that have been on the books since the 1960s.  Just as those provisions have not led to any crime committed against a black person or a Jew constitute hate crimes, this legislation would not make any crime committed against an LGBT individual a hate crime.”

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc. (“NGLTF, Inc.”), founded in 1974, 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. NGLTF, Inc., is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to NGLTF, Inc., are not tax-deductible.