US House Sends Message that Hate Crimes Legislation Should Be Allowed to Move Forward

Statement by Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero

September 29, 2004 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – "Congress has sent a strong bi-partisan message that gay and lesbian Americans are a valued part of our great country and that they should be free to live their lives without fear of violence. This message came in the form of a procedural motion instructing the conference committee to retain hate crimes legislation, which was overwhelmingly passed earlier this summer by the Senate. The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, 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 motion to instruct passed by a vote of 213 to 186 and included 31 Republicans.

"Behind the scenes, the radical right has been using scare tactics as a way of stopping this legislation, even though it has overwhelming support from the American people. This vote shows their efforts failed. A divisive social agenda based on the politics of fear will put Republicans on the wrong side of history. We applaud those GOP members of Congress who had the courage to vote in favor of basic fairness and common decency.

"While Log Cabin Republicans applaud the House for passage of this motion, 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 House to continue fighting for tolerance and inclusion by rejecting the discriminatory, anti-family Constitutional amendment that it is scheduled for a vote later this week."