Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Killing Hate Crimes

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Killing Hate Crimes

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On December 6, Senate Democrats announced they would remove the Matthew Shepard Act from the 2008 Department of Defense reauthorization bill, saying they lacked the votes to pass the two together. The failure was only the latest episode in a decade-long saga to make the bill law:

November 13,1997: Rep. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Ted Kennedy simultaneously introduce the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to Congress. Legislators never vote on the bill.

March 11 & 16, 1999: Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Kennedy reintroduce the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to Congress. Again, legislators fail to vote.

June 19, 2000: Kennedy's bill is added to the Department of Defense Authorization Act. A conference committee later removes it.

April 3, 2001: The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the House, eventually dying in committee.

June 11, 2002: The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act fails to garner enough votes to force a vote in the Senate, killing the legislation. …

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