Log Cabin Republicans Applaud Senate for Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation

18 Republican Senators, Led by Gordon Smith, Vote for Bipartisan Passage of Historic Bill

June 15, 2004 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – The Log Cabin Republicans applaud the United States Senate for passage of hate crimes legislation. The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), more commonly known as hate crimes legislation, expands the definition of "hate crime" to include a violent act causing death or bodily injury because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender or disability of the victim.

The bill was proposed as an amendment to the Defense Department Authorization bill by Republican Senator Gordon Smith (OR), who was the keynote speaker at the Log Cabin Republican 2004 National Convention. As Senator Smith so eloquently stated on the floor of the Senate, "Hate crimes tear at the very fabric of our Nation. They seek to intimidate entire groups of Americans and as such divide our Nation. These kinds of crimes do more than harm the victims. They terrorize our entire society and send a message of hate and intolerance to millions of Americans."

"Today, thanks to the courageous leadership of Senator Gordon Smith, the United States Senate has sent a strong message that gays and lesbians are a valued part of our great country. They should be free to live their lives without fear of violence," said Patrick Guerriero, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans.

The vote in the Senate was not close, with 65 voting for the legislation and only 33 voting against it. Eighteen Republicans joined one independent and 46 Democrats in supporting the hate crimes legislation.

"We hope that the political courage that Republican Senators showed today will be a sign to those in the party who seek to promote a divisive social agenda," said Guerriero.

The Senate has passed hate crimes legislation before, only to see it stripped out of conference committee negotiations with the House of Representatives. Log Cabin urges the House, the Conference Committee, and the President to make sure that this legislation becomes law.

While Log Cabin Republicans applaud the Senate for passing hate crimes legislation, we also realize that this is just one battle in the culture war that the far right has declared on gay and lesbian families. Log Cabin Republicans urge the Senate to continue fighting for tolerance and inclusion by rejecting the discriminatory, anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment.

Log Cabin thanks the following Republican Senators for their support in passing hate crimes legislation:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Sen. George Allen (R-VA)
Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO)
Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-OR)
Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME)
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH)
Sen. John Warner (R-VA)