Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Breaking News: U.S Senate to vote on Hate crimes Bill Tonight?
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) offered the Senate hate crimes bill, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, as an amendment to the Department of Defense Reauthorization bill currently being debated on the Senate floor. The House of Representatives version of the bill passed with strong bipartisan support on May 3. The Senate bill, S. 1105, could be voted on as early as today.
The right wing is in high gear on Capitol Hill today to fight the bill's passage and Senate leaders need to hear strong - and repeated - messages of support for the hate crimes bill from our side.
My question is: Is this about free speech or about denying those on basis of sexual orientation, gender identity/disability to be protected on the federal hate crimes level?
The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act clearly says it uphold the first amendment to protect and strengthen free speech including religious speech.
So I'm hoping the U.S Senators vote with strong bi-partisan, and send the bill to be sign by Bush. I'll have more updates on this as they become available.
Call your senators ASAP at 202/224-3121 and urge them to vote in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act, S. 1105.