National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, DC, USAJune 25, 2009
Director of Communications
WASHINGTON, June 25 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund has submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging for the passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The committee is holding a hearing on the measure today. The bill, which extends federal authority for investigation and prosecution of hate
violence to crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability, passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin in April.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
“Our country is on the cusp of recognizing and responding to the reality of hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is a national embarrassment that bigotry and ignorance have prevented enactment of substantive federal hate crimes legislation, but that goal is finally, truly, within our grasp.
“We thank Chairman Patrick Leahy and the members of the Judiciary Committee for holding this hearing and shedding light on a topic truly crucial to our community and our nation. We also thank Attorney General Eric Holder for testifying in support of the bill. And finally, we call on the Senate to act swiftly to pass this much-overdue legislation, which seeks to protect people from indefensible breaches of their basic human rights.”
To read the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund testimony,
click here <http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/release_materials/tf_hate_crimes_testimony_0609.pdf>