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A hate crime occurs when the perpetrator of the crime intentionally selects the victim because of who the victim is. Hate crimes rend the fabric of our society and fragment communities by targeting a group of people, not just the individual victim. A law protecting all of our citizens against senseless hate violence is long overdue.
Current hate crime statutes offer no federal protection against bias motivated crimes rooted in sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability. The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would include these categories and permit federal authorities to help investigate and prosecute cases when local authorities are unable or unwilling to do so.
Tell Congress that now is the time to ensure protection for all people and all communities against bias motivated crimes!
The sacred scriptures of many different faith traditions speak with dramatic unanimity on the subject of hate. Crimes motivated by hatred or bigotry are an assault not only upon individual victim’s freedoms, but also upon a belief that lies at the core of our diverse faith traditions - that every human being is created in the image of God.
A vote is just days away. It's up to us to demand that Congress help protect our communities from the terror and brutality of hate-driven violence.
Some critics of this legislation have erroneously asserted that enactment of the measure would prohibit the lawful expression of one’s deeply held religious beliefs. These fears are unfounded. H.R. 1919 does not in any way violate the First Amendment protections of offenders. Hate crime laws do not restrict free speech. They target only violent criminal activity motivated by prejudice.
Make sure Congress hears from you. Email here or Call 866-346-4611 (TOLL FREE)* and tell your member of Congress to vote for the Matthew Shepard Act.
* Phone number made available Monday-Wednesday, April 27-April 29 by our friends at LCCR