Pelosi, Obama Release Hate Crime Statements

Washington’s still reeling from yesterday’s unceremonious abortion of pro-gay hate crimes legislation.

And, as happens after a major legislative defeat, politicians are coming out of the wood work to express their deepest and utmost regret that the United States of America refuses to evolve. Nancy Pelosi‘s certainly mourning this morning, but refuses to give up hope. Nor will she let us forget the Democrats’ part in the political plot:

I am strongly committed to sending the hate crimes legislation, passed by the House earlier this year, to the President for his signature. Democrats have worked exhaustively with advocacy groups and polled Members repeatedly, but it is clear that attaching the language to the DoD authorization bill would not create a successful outcome in the House.

House Democratic leaders will work with our Senate colleagues to make certain that a hate crimes bill passes the Senate and goes to the President’s desk.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama, meanwhile, took a harsher stand:

The Senate took an important step forward in strengthening current law and fulfilling our nation’s founding principle of equality by passing the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in September. While it is imperative that the Congress move this Defense Authorization bill, I am extremely disappointed that House and Senate negotiators failed to include this important provision in the bill being sent to the President.

Hate crimes are unacceptable. All Americans deserve to live their lives without fear of hate driven attacks. Those who commit such heinous crimes should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, no matter whether those crimes are committed on account of race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

Almost 40 years after Congress first enacted a federal hate crimes law, it is our moral obligation to continue striving for equality, and ensure that the federal government, along with state and local jurisdictions, have the tools necessary to effectively prosecute these crimes. Given the rise in hate crimes nationally, failure to pass this vital legislation is truly unacceptable.

That’s right, Obama. Now, do you have any presidential plans to tackle this democratic anomaly?