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Self Hatred Is Also a Crime
Abstract: Legislation to prevent hate crimes finds its destiny tied to defense spending.
We received an urgent email entreaty from Joe Solomonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) alerting us that the Matthew Shepard Act (also known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act) which was passed by both houses of Congress earlier this year was now in danger of not being sent to President Bush to be signed.
The President has promised to veto the hate crimes legislation, and to avoid the threatened veto, Senate leadership attached the Matthew Shepard Act to a Department of Defense bill that the President wants passed.
The Department of Defense (DoD) bill is now under attack from both anti-GLBT conservatives opposed to the hate crimes legislation, as well as progressive, pro-equality legislators opposed to the bill's provisions for the war in Iraq. Consequently, passage of the DoD Bill is not a sure thing, and this uncertainty leads directly to the following call to action from HRC:
"Ask your Senators and Representative to make sure the Department of Defense bill passes with the Matthew Shepard Act included.
Thank you, again, for your ongoing commitment to equality and justice."
We intend to follow our conscience, though it will not be as easy as we would like. We encourage you to do the same.