Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes Prevention Act Passes the Senate

More than a decade after it was first introduced, a bipartisan group of Senators today passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a 68-29 vote. The measure was included in the Department of Defense Authorization Conference Report passed earlier this month by the House.

Final Hate Crimes Legislation Passes House

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Authorization by a vote of 281-146. The bill contains language that will extend important protections to victims of violent hate crimes targeted because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability, and expands protection based on race and religion and ethnicity.

Hate Crimes Legislation Passes in Senate!

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in the Senate as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. Now the bill goes to conference committee, where it's up to the House to keep the amendment in the final bill.

Senate Includes Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act in DOD Authorization

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act made it on to the DOD Authorization bill as an amendment last night -- a major step forward in finally getting this important legislation to the president's desk to be signed into law. Be on the lookout for intensified rhetoric and lies from the Right about this good bill. Learn more and take action at our resource page.

As Senate Prepares to Take Up Hate Crimes Bill, Far Right’s Inflammatory Claims Should Not Be Taken Seriously

Anti-gay organizations have been fighting the steady advance of federal hate crimes legislation with rhetoric that is increasingly unhinged from reality. When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a hate crimes bill on April 29 with a bipartisan 74-vote margin, Religious Right leaders and some of their congressional allies were inspired to new heights (or depths) of literally incredible accusations.

House Passes Hate Crimes Legislation

Today the House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 by a bipartisan vote of 249 to 175. The legislation protects individuals from violent crimes motivated by victims' sexual orientation, disability status, gender or gender identity. The legislation still needs to be approved by the Senate.PFAW President Michael B. Keegan said, "I applaud the House for passing this legislation. Hate crimes remain all too common in this county, and it's important that the federal government take strong stand to ensure that no one is subjected to the threat of violence because of who they are. I'm especially pleased that this bill contains strong First Amendment protections to ensure that no one's right to free expression will ever be affected by this law. All Americans have a right to live in safety, and all Americans have a right to speak, preach, and worship freely."

Harry Jackson: Point Man for the Wedge Strategy

A report by People for the American Way Foundation examining the political activities of Bishop Harry Jackson, who has emerged as the leading African American voice of the Religious Right political movement.

Point Man for the Wedge Strategy: New Report Examines Political Activities of Bishop Harry Jackson, Face of the Religious Right's Outreach to African Americans

Bishop Harry Jackson, who has emerged as the leading African American voice of the Religious Right political movement, is waging a campaign in the District of Columbia against marriage equality. This report follows Jackson's years on the national political scene since he announced that God told him to campaign for George W. Bush's reelection in 2004.

Hate Crimes Legislation Passes House Judiciary Committee

The House Judiciary Committee today voted 15 to 12 to send the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) to the floor for a vote. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement: "Today's vote is a very positive step towards passing this bill into law. I'm extremely optimistic that this year we'll finally be able to enact hate crimes legislation that includes protections against violence based on disability status, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.

Right Sounds False Alarm On Hate Crimes Legislation

Religious Right leaders are vehemently opposed to federal hate crimes laws in large measure because they resist any legal recognition of LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender). They know that most Americans support hate-crimes legislation, anti-discrimination laws, and legal protection for gay couples. So they create confusion by portraying these steps toward equality as dire threats to religious liberty. This is part of a larger political strategy by Religious Right leaders to advance their policy goals and mobilize supporters with alarmist claims that Christians in America are on the verge of being jailed for their religious beliefs.

People For the American Way Welcomes Introduction of Federal Hate Crimes Law

People For the American Way welcomed the bipartisan introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would provide federal resources to help local law enforcement departments combat violent hate crimes. H.R. 1913 was introduced this week by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).
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