Legislative Alerts and Updates
Capitol Hill Basics
House to Vote on Hate Crimes bill this Wednesday!
Tell Congress to uphold equal protection for all Americans by voting NO on H.R. 1913!
On April 29, 2009, the House considered and debated H.R. 1913 on the floor under a closed rule, meaning, the liberal Majority did not allow the Republican Minority to offer any amendments to this bill. The Republicans did, however, offer a Motion to Recommit, which would have extended protection under this bill to senior citizens, children, both current and former members of the military, as well as law enforcement officers, including border patrol agents. Unfortunately, the motion failed by a vote of 185 to 241 (
House Roll Call 222
). The House then proceeded by passing H.R. 1913, unamended, by a vote of 249 to 175 (
House Roll Call 223
). The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration (
April 27, 2009
The liberal House Leadership has scheduled a floor vote on
, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009
, for this Wednesday, April 29th. Sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), H.R. 1913 will make a hate crime -- a crime in which the victim is intentionally selected based on his or her race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. -- a federal offense.
The bill seeks to accomplish this by mandating
criminal prosecution for
offenses, with the possibility of life imprisonment, for crimes motivated by the "
actual or perceived
race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person." H.R. 1913 will also establish homosexual and transgender persons as a protected class of victims by adding the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to
Title 18 of the U.S. criminal code
Make no mistake, H.R 1913 is a dangerous and unprecedented proposal which will transform the criminal justice system and threaten religious liberty by:
Violating the First Amendment by infringing upon the constitutional guarantees of religious expression and freedom of speech.
Violating the Fourteenth Amendment by deliberately compromising the principle of equal protection under the law for
Aiming to silence and punish all opposing viewpoints.
Targeting those who hold traditional beliefs on homosexuality.
Granting more government protection to certain classes of people, particularly homosexuals.
A typical tactic of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) groups is to distort and exaggerate
to their benefit. In 2007, there were 1,521 victims of "sexual orientation" bias, however, 335 of these were incidents of "intimidation," also known as shouting or name-calling. 448 of these crimes were "simple assault," defined as pushing or shoving
physical injury, with 242 of the crimes being aggravated assault, defined as bodily harm. So, in a nation with 300 million people, there were only 242 "violent" crimes committed against homosexuals, bisexuals, or drag queens in 2007.
In fact, in analyzing FBI statistics even further, it is clear that violence as a result of anti-religious bias and racial bias occurs more frequently than sexual orientation bias. Compared to the 1,521 bias crimes against LGBT individuals, 4,956 racial incidents occurred in 2007 -- 908 were anti-white; 3,424 were anti-African American; and the rest were bias crimes against other races. Out of 1,628 anti-religious crimes, 1,127 were against Jewish people; 142 against Muslims; 70 against Catholics; 67 against Protestants; and the rest against other religions.
Not only is H.R. 1913 unconstitutional, it is also unnecessary. The underlying offense, whether it is murder, assault, or any other crime, is already fully and aggressively prosecuted in all 50 states. We do not need a new law; rather, we need strict enforcement of
laws. All violent crimes are hate crimes and all violent criminals should be severely punished. Elevating particular groups of victims above others and awarding them a special status is not the answer to decreasing crime in America.
The House will vote on this bill on
Wednesday, April 29th
. Please begin calling, emailing, and faxing your Representatives and tell them you expect them to oppose H.R. 1913!
Please keep in mind that an identical bill was passed back in 2007 under the Democrat Majority by a vote of 237 to 180 (
House Roll Call 299
). Also, last week, H.R. 1913 was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 15 to 12. Republican Members of the committee offered amendments to provide equal protections for other groups, such as veterans, the unborn, and Americans who are frequently victims of violence perpetrated by illegal aliens; however, these amendments were either denied debate or voted down.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Faking the hate
, by John Leo
CQ Roll Call