Press

Task Force Action Fund applauds House introduction of federal hate crimes legislation

Date: 
April 03, 2009

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

WASHINGTON, April 3 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund applauds the introduction of inclusive federal hate crimes legislation. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced last night by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

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

“Introduction of this important legislation marks the beginning of the end of a long-fought battle. After more than a decade, it is time for us to finally pass legislation that strengthens and expands federal hate crimes law; a bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Laws ultimately reflect a nation’s values and this legislation, once passed, will send a strong message that America rejects all forms of hate violence, including bias-motivated crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“We are pleased that President Obama has expressed support for this legislation by voting for it in the Senate and by announcing he will sign the bill when it comes to his desk. We hope that the administration will play a role in assisting with passage in both the House and Senate.

“Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has escalated over the past 25 years. Since establishing our groundbreaking Anti-Violence Project in 1982, we have been working to get the federal government to take a stand against this epidemic. Until now, sadly, little progress has been made in the 19 years since Congress passed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, because right-wing forces would rather see hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ignored than have the words ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity’ appear alongside other protected classes in federal law.

“We particularly want to thank Reps. John Conyers and Mark Kirk for introducing this bill and Reps. Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin for their leadership. We look forward to working with their offices for swift passage of this legislation.”

Background

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) extends federal authority for investigation and prosecution of hate violence to crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Current federal hate crimes law covers crimes motivated by race, religion and national origin.

Learn about the Task Force’s groundbreaking and longtime work to secure hate crimes protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.


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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.