|September 26, 2007|
|FURTHER UPDATE: On December 6, 2007, Democratic leaders of Congress dropped the Kennedy "hate crimes" amendment from the Defense Authorization bill because "We don't have the votes." Thank you for your calls, letters and emails!|
|UPDATE: On September 27th, 2007, the Senate voted on the cloture motion to proceed to final passage of the Kennedy "hate crimes" amendment to the DOD Authorization bill (H.R. 1585). The cloture vote was successful by a vote of 60-39 (Roll Call 350). Although the Hatch Amendment also passed (96-3), it is the Kennedy language that will most likely be sustained in the final bill. Please continue to encourage the 39 Senators who voted "no" on cloture on the Kennedy Amendment to oppose its inclusion in the final Defense Authorization bill.|
HATE CRIMES AND THE DEFENSE BILL DO NOT MIX!
Urge your Senators to Vote NO on the Hate Crimes Amendment!
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed cloture on Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Hate Crimes bill as an amendment to the 2008 Department of Defense Authorization (H.R.1585). Back on May 3rd, President Bush released a statement saying that if such hate crimes legislation were to reach his desk, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it. Reid, no doubt, understands that neither the House nor the Senate could override a veto; thus, he is attempting to insert this language into the DOD Authorization because it will be harder for President Bush to veto the entire bill.
The language of the Kennedy amendment is identical to the language of H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed the House on May 3, 2007 by a vote of 237-180. If it passes, this amendment would make hate crimes (a crime in which the victim is intentionally selected based on his or her race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc.) a federal offense and it would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes in the U.S. criminal code (Title 18). This amendment violates both the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by attempting to regulate speech, religious expression, and equal protection under the law for all citizens.
We don’t need a new law to combat hate crimes! Almost all 50 states have their own laws to fully prosecute such acts. The amendment is expected to come up for a vote sometime in the next few days. We need your help to stop this sneaky maneuver to insert such a controversial and problematic piece of legislation into the DOD Authorization! Call your Senators today!
Call your Senators’ offices and let them know that you expect them to vote NO on the Kennedy Amendment! This amendment may receive a vote as early as Wednesday, September 26th! If not, the vote will most likely occur on Thursday, the 27th.
Call Your Senators Today!
Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121