Support Hate Crimes Legislation

July 10, 2003

General Convention ‘00 “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.”

The Senate is expected to take up S.966, the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act—formerly known as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act—as an amendment to the State Department Appropriations bill, on the floor now. Sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), 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.

Please contact your Senators via email or call them at 800-513-3472 immediately and urge them to vote YES on the Smith-Kennedy Hate Crimes amendment to the State Department Appropriations bill and YES on any procedural motion to allow consideration of the amendment.

View Hate Crime Statistics by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation