In an abrupt move, supporters of hate crimes legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives have announced that they will push for a vote on H.R. 4204, the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA)âformerly known as the Hate Crimes Prevention Actâas an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill, to be considered in the House as early as tomorrow. Co-sponsored by 177 Republican and Democratic representatives, LLEEA would extend the federal hate crimes law that currently covers race, religion, and national origin to include hate crimes based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender and disability. LLEEA is needed to help combat discriminatory violence in America. While overall crime in the U.S. has declined, according to the FBI, hate crimes based on real or perceived sexual orientation constitute the third highest category reported. This past June, the U.S. Senate approved a similar measure by a 65-33.
Please contact your Representative today at 1-800-270-0309 and urge him or her to support hate crimes language included in the Department of Defense Authorization Bill. To e-mail your Member, click HERE.
To view Hate Crime Statistics by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation go to: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm
General Convention 2000 "urged Congress to pass legislation which would amend the current federal law to include real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, and disability as protected under federal prosecution of a hate crime and expand the number of settings in which the law can be applied."