Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hate-Crimes Amendment Dropped from Defense Authorization Bill

Speaker Pelosi says she will work with Democrats to make sure it eventually gets to the president's desk

From "Hate-Crimes Amendment Dropped from Defense Authorization" posted 12/7/07 at

The U.S. House and Senate agreed Thursday to drop the hate-crimes amendment from the 2008 Defense Authorization bill when it became clear the House was 40 votes shy of passing the bill if it included the controversial language.

The amendment sought to create a new federal class of crime based on "actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity." President Bush had pledged to veto the bill if it included hate-crimes language.

“This victory belongs to the concerned citizens who contacted their senators to oppose the hate-crimes bill,” said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “We also want to thank the Senate leadership who worked hard behind the scenes to prevent this dangerous language from becoming law.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said House Democratic leaders will work with the Senate to “make certain” that a hate-crimes bill gets to the president’s desk.

What's wrong with hate-crimes legislation? Click here for a Focus on the Family Action fact sheet.

Hate-crimes legislation doesn't go far enough, according to Focus Action Director of Digital Media Stuart Shepard. In his Stoplight video commentary, he suggests how a few additional laws could fill out the picture.