[Davis Democrats] Barack Obama's fight to expand hate crimes protections-opposed by McCain

John Chendo jac07 at dcn.org
Thu Aug 21 23:51:34 PDT 2008

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From: Obama For America - Pride <pride at barackobama.com>
Reply-To: <ObamaPride at groups.barackobama.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:39:50 -0400
To: Obama Pride <ObamaPride at groups.barackobama.com>
Subject: [ObamaPride] Barack Obama's fight to expand hate crimes protections


This month, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a
report highlighting a spike in hate crimes against LGBT people in June and
July of this year.  This disturbing report reminds us that LGBT people
continue to be targets of bias-motivated violence while the law continues to
fail them.  The law does not provide federal officials with the law
enforcement tools that they need to prosecute these crimes for what they are
-- bias-motivated hate crimes -- and it does not provide local law
enforcement with the resources that they need to prosecute hate crimes at
the state and local level.
Barack Obama has made strengthening and expanding the federal hate crimes
law a priority.  
·        As a United States Senator, he co-sponsored the bill that would
expand hate crimes protections to include crimes based on sexual orientation
or gender identity.  The bill also would provide local law enforcement
agencies with federal aid in fighting and prosecuting hate crimes.

·        He cast the critical 60th vote that prevented the bill from being
defeated by a Republican-sponsored filibuster.  [2007 Senate Vote #350]

·        He has pledged to continue his support for enacting these
protections into law if elected President, promising earlier this year to
³place the full weight of my administration behind the enactment of the
Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes... on the basis of sexual
orientation and gender identity.² [New York Blade, 6/10/08]

·        He has pledged to reinvigorate enforcement of all hate crime laws
at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section. [www.barackobama.com]

While Barack Obama has been fighting to expand hate crimes protections, John
McCain has been standing in the way.  He has consistently stood in the way
of the bill becoming law.
·        He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2000.  [2000 Senate Vote

·        He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2002.  [2002 Senate Vote

·        He voted against the hate crimes bill in 2004.  [2004 Senate Vote

·        In 2007, he was the only member of the Senate to not cast a vote at
all on the bill. [2007 Senate Vote #350]

President Bush has threatened to veto hate crimes legislation, and John
McCain is promising to yet again follow in his footsteps on an issue
important to the LGBT community.
Last year, Damien Skipper lost his brother Ryan in a brutal hate crime.
Ryan, just 25 years old, was beaten, stabbed and killed just because he was
gay.  Ryan¹s family has since become forceful advocates for expanding the
federal hate crimes law, and they support Senator Obama in large part
because he is committed to passage of a federal hate crimes law. Damien
recorded the following clip and wanted to share it with others:
Expanding and strengthening hate crimes protections is just one of the many
issues important to the community where Barack Obama stands with LGBT people
and John McCain has turned his back.  Share Damien¹s story, and your own
support for Senator Obama, by forwarding this message to five friends who
might still be undecided about who to vote for in November.
To learn more about Senator Obama¹s positions on LGBT equality, visit
pride.barackobama.com today.
Dave Noble
Director of the LGBT Vote
Obama for America

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