Log Cabin Praises Re-Introduction of Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act

March 21, 2007 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans praise the bi-partisan re-introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) in the US House of Representatives. The legislation would allow local law enforcement agencies to access federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and a number of other new classes. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).

This legislation would give law enforcement agencies access to the necessary resources for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes. "Log Cabin thanks Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) for introducing this bill. Congress should immediately pass this common sense legislation," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "The vast majority of Americans support this important bill. Every American should be protected from violent crime, regardless of sexual orientation."

"Current law allows local law enforcement agencies to receive federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes based on race, religion, and national origin. Modernizing existing law is critical to ensure that our local law enforcement agencies are given every tool available to prosecute violent crime," said Sammon.

This legislation enjoys wide support, particularly among the law enforcement community. Virtually every major national law enforcement organization in America supports this law including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National District Attorneys Association, and the National Sheriffs' Association. In all, over 210 civil rights, professional, civic, and religious groups, thirty-one state Attorneys General, and former US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh support this proposal.

This legislation previously passed both the US House and Senate by wide, bi-partisan margins. Opponents of this common sense legislation had to use parliamentary maneuvers to block its passage.

According to the FBI, law enforcement officials reported 7,163 hate crimes in 2005. State and local authorities investigate and prosecute the overwhelming majority of these hate crimes – and will continue to do so after the LLEHCPA is enacted. The LLEHCPA, however, would provide a necessary backstop to state and local enforcement by permitting federal authorities to provide assistance in these investigations – and by allowing federal prosecutions when state and local authorities are unable or unwilling to act.