Senate Denies Victims of Hate Crimes Their Day in Court
NOW Urges Supporters of The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act to Advocate For Stronger Hate Crime Legislation
June 11, 2002
The National Organization for Women expressed outrage at today's refusal of Senate Republicans to allow a vote on the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (S 625).
"Today, Republican Senators denied passage of this important hate crime legislation on a procedural vote," said National Organization for Women (NOW) Action Vice President Olga Vives. "They knew that this legislation had bipartisan support in the Senate, and by not allowing a vote, they denied victims of hate crimes their day in court."
The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (S. 625), would strengthen the federal response to hate crimes by extending the law to cover hate crimes targeting gender, sexual orientation and disability and expanding federal jurisdiction to cover the most violent of these crimes.
Current federal law only allows prosecution of hate crimes motivated by bias based on race, religion, national origin and/or color, and then only when the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity.
Vives called on George W. Bush to fulfill his promise to protect everyone from acts of terror, including hate crimes, and urged the bill's supporters in the Senate to speak out against the Republican's procedural tactics and continue pressing for this legislation.
"We thank those Senators who stood firm on their commitment to this legislation. NOW supports their efforts to enact laws that would protect all victims of hate crimes, including those assaulted because of their sex, sexual orientation or disability."
###For Immediate Release
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