Congress Decides Tomorrow: Will Federal Hate Crimes Bill Move Forward?


If “H.R. 1913” doesn’t mean anything to you, it should. It’s the hate crimes bill Congress’ Judiciary Committee will vote on tomorrow, deciding whether it will go to a House-wide appeal. The bill would make hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity a federal matter, expanding any state’s existing legislation by looping in the ability for the feds to prosecute offenders under this umbrella. It would also enable the Justice Department to assist and finances local and state efforts to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. But will opponents damn the bill with amendments that limit, or strip, its power?

If we can rely on Democrats, the bill will be pushed through committee. The Judiciary Committee has 23 Dems to 16 Republicans, with Wisconsin’s lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin among them.

Of course, the opposition is already sounding the rally cry — complete with outright lies.

Falsely reports “Under such ‘hate-crime’ laws, pastors could be prosecuted for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality. Similar laws have been used to prosecute religious speech in the U.S. and abroad.”

(Pictured: Chris Crain, gay bashing victim)

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  • Lee

    1. Where’s Waldo er Obama? Why isn’t he “in the mix”?

    2. Crain was attacked in Amsterdam so that’s one reason his mug is a poor illustration for American legislation.

    3. The second is that it’s far more likely he was attacked for being a raging asshole than for being gay.

  • alan brickman

    gays yell at straights all the time…..”breeder” is a derogatory my friends hear all the time….

  • Alec

    @alan brickman: Which brings up another excellent point. If someone did that and physically attacked a heterosexual person, they could be prosecuted under the sexual orientation provision of a hate crimes statute.

  • daftpunkydavid

    @Alec: actually it’s if they attacked a person because of that person’s sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation, i presume), not just attacking a person…

  • Alec

    @daftpunkydavid: Right. And someone shouting “breeder” at another person before physically attacking them would be damn good evidence of appropriate bias. Compare: “Die fag” right before beating a gay man with a bat. I was responding to Alan, who suggested that his gay friends called his straight friends “breeders” quite a bit.

  • Ginny

    Wow some unpaid Washington Blade staffer must have had a mean left hook.

  • RichardR

    C’mon folks, you’re missing the point. Call your congressional representatives. Their numbers are readily available on line. You won’t get to him or her, but just tell the staffer who answers the phone that you are a constituent, and that you are asking your Representative to actively support and vote for H.R. 1913.

  • Dave

    Nobody deserves to be attacked. Even those we disagree with politically. I think our community needs to be aware of how extreme some Muslims are regarding homosexuality before they defend it out of some politically correct ideal. They will literally kill us if they had their way. I will take our Evangelical Christians any day over having my anus glued together then being forced to drink some fluid that causes diarrhea so that I can die a slow, painful death.

  • hardmannyc

    Not that it matters to Queerty but Chris Crain was assaulted in Amsterdam. That’s in the Netherlands. In Europe. Across the Atlantic from the United States.

  • Attmay

    @alan brickman: And they’re going to continue to hear it until they call off their anti-gay jihad. I’ve been using it a lot since Prop H8.

  • Greg Ever

    …has 23 Dems to 16 Republicans, with Wisconsin’s lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin among them.

    I know it means “representative” but that “Rep.” mixed with the context makes it sound like she’s a Republican. Could you make it a little more clear that she’s a Democrat?

  • Lee

    Don’t just call your Congressperson’s office! Forward them all those great Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence videos. No one opens hearts and minds faster.

  • Landon Bryce

    @Greg Ever:

    Why? Doesn’t the “lesbian” in front of “Rep” make it clear enough that she’s not a Republican? Wouldn’t it be cool if she were Republican, out, and this upfront on gay issues? Hasn’t happened yet, though. Doesn’t the general Queerty readership know who the fuck Tammy Baldwin is? If they don’t, they should make use of Google.

    She’s the best gay legislator ever. Love her.

  • Ginny

    Thank you for using the photo of Chris Crain, former editor of the Washington Blade, in illustrating the horrors of hate crimes.

    During his tenure at the Blade, Crain hired disgraced right-wing hooker and phony journalist Jeff Gannon as an editorial columnist.

    Gannon opposed hate crimes legislation. Listening to the voice that Crain paid to speak to our community, I would oppose the hate crimes measure for which Queerty is seeking support.

  • Greg Ever

    @Landon Bryce: Sure, of course you have a point. Most people would (correctly) assume so, but it’s wrong to assume. Republican gays and lesbians do exist, and there are homophobic Democrats as well. And I don’t think it’s entirely right to say “people who normally read this blog will know, so it doesn’t matter” because that’s almost like saying “screw anyone who isn’t a regular reader.” Clarity is a nice thing to have.

Comments are closed.