hate crimes

Why We May Never Know if Rep. Virginia Foxx Changed Her Mind on Matthew Shepard


Rather than pass hate crimes legislation as a standalone bill, some senators are looking to push through the legislation as an amendment to another bill to get the job done before they recess in August. That’s the word from the Human Rights Campaign, which should know about these things because they’ve got Washington’s ear! Supporters of this methodology say it’s the “most effective” way to get the legislation to the president’s desk, and that’s what we all want, right?

But it also has this side effect: By opting not to have senators votes on the Matthew Shepard Act all by itself (as the House successfully did), we miss out on what’s effectively a roll call count on which elected officials we can count on, and who we can’t.

For its part, HRC just wants the bill in front of the president, and thus is okay with having the legislation passed as an amendment to another bill that’s sure to pass.

And they’ve got a point: After a decade of unsuccessful attempts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes (not to mention enabling federal funds for local hate crimes investigations), let’s just git this thing ‘ere done. But we would just love for all 100 senators to make it a matter of public record whether they believed our community was worthy of protecting. And to see whether this terrible woman decided to find a conscience.

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  • MichaelDC

    Even if there’s a vote on the hate crimes bill as an amendment to another piece on Senate legislation there will still be a roll call vote on it and we’ll know where our elected leaders stand on equality.

  • bobito

    Virginia Foxx would have to HAVE a mind in order to change it.

  • RichardR

    Foxx is a member of the house – she’s not a Senator. More Queerty journalistic sloppiness.

  • petted

    By having it as an amendment it prevents anyone from throwing riders onto hate crimes legislation – if they attempted to pass it as a standalone the extremists could try the kill by filing to add a bunch of amendments to it – remember NH? We’re talking more ridiculous then the ones the governor wanted there (& yes it is ridiculous when the legislation requested already exists).

  • GJR

    That’s of course true but for the new bill to get to the pres, they’d need a reconciled bill between House and Senate. Foxx will probably still vote no on the bill but she and other bigots could avoid having to give a reason. The true hurdle of course is getting it through the Senate.

  • Todd Carter

    She isn’t interested in a conscience, you have to have a soul to even care about having one of those

  • Joanaroo

    I’d be really interested in seeing the roll when this is put to the senate. Foxx wouldn’t know what a conscience was if it tried climbing in her head!

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