Main | Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hate Crimes Bill Passes House!

Here is the result of the just completed House vote on the Hate Crimes Act, HR 1592:

Democratic: Yes: 212 No: 14

Republican: Yes: 25 No: 166

Total: Yes: 237 No: 180

To applause and a few cheers, from the podium, Barney Frank exhulted, "The bill is passed!"

Human Rights Campaign head Joe Solmonese: "This is a historic day that moves all Americans closer to safety from the scourge of hate violence. Today, legislators sided with the 73 percent of the American people who support the expansion of hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign thanks Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and the entire House leadership, whose dedication made this vote a success. We also commend the bipartisan coalition of leaders who co-sponsored and supported the bill for so long, including Representatives Baldwin, Bono, Frank, Nadler, Ros-Lehtinen and Shays."

From the ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union today cheered the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, with strong bipartisan support. Thisl egislation would allow federal law enforcement agencies to investigateand prosecute hate crimes offenses in cases where local law enforcement lacks the resources, or in some cases the willingness to do so. For the first time, the ACLU was able to announce its full support for hate crimes legislation. In the past, the organization has not been able to support hate crime bills because they were written in a way that threatened constitutionally protected speech. But the legislation introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) shows that it is possible to protect targets of hate crimes without jeopardizing free speech or association rights.

(JMG: "Strong bipartisan support"? Hmm, maybe getting 25 GOP votes on this IS strong.)

The White House indicated today that President Bush will VETO the bill, for which he has earned the thanks of James Dobson, the Concerned Women of America, and WingNutDaily who polled their readers on the issue.

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