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.

"Political groups with an anti-gay agenda are working hard to stop the legislation, and we've already seen the usual barrage of baseless attacks from the right wing. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act protects free speech, and it protects religious liberty. It's time to turn away from dishonest scare tactics and pass this legislation on to the Senate and to the President's desk.

"People For the American Way will continue to push for this legislation and against right wing ideologues who attempt to derail it."

You can read People For the American Way's "Right Wing Watch: In Focus" report on hate crimes legislation here.

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