Press

Task Force Action Fund applauds U.S. Senate action on federal hate crimes amendment

Date: 
July 16, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, July 16 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund applauds the U.S. Senate’s approval today of an inclusive hate crimes amendment, as part of the Department of Defense authorization bill. Hate crimes legislation cleared the House in April with a vote of 249 to 175. After the Senate finishes debate on and passes the Department of Defense authorization bill, the legislation will likely move to conference committee where differences will be ironed out.

The Task Force has been a leader in the effort to secure an effective and full government response to hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, beginning with the launch of its groundbreaking anti-violence project in 1982. Get more details here.

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

"It’s long past time to send a clear and unequivocal message to America that hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be tolerated. That so many LGBT people — or those perceived to be LGBT — have died or been injured over the years due to hate violence and bigotry is a moral outrage and painful scar on this nation. The good news is that our political leaders are on the brink of tackling this scourge forcefully and with conviction; this moment cannot come soon enough.

"Laws embody the values of our nation, and through this amendment the Senate is saying that America rejects and condemns hate violence against its people. The importance of this cannot be overstated, particularly in light of the toxic misinformation campaign that has been waged against the measure by right-wing forces who would rather see anti-LGBT crimes go unaddressed than have the words 'sexual orientation' or 'gender identity' appear alongside other protected classes in federal law.

"We thank Sen. Ted Kennedy for his leadership on this issue and Sens. Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for their leadership on the amendment today. We also thank all Senate members who supported it."


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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.