Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Action Needed on Hate Crimes TODAY!


Urge Your Senators to Pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an Amendment to S. 1391!

We've learned that as early as Thursday, July 16, the Senate could vote on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The act is an amendment known as the Leahy-Collins-Kennedy-Snowe Amendment to S. 1391, the FY 2010 Department of Defense Authorization bill. This amendment would provide significant improvements to our current hate crimes prevention laws. The House of Representatives already passed the bill in April with a vote 249-175.

What the Bill Does
This bill expands the coverage of existing hate crime laws to include crimes not only based on race, color, religion, and national origin, but also bias-motivated crimes based on the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

It also provides the federal government jurisdiction to prosecute hate crimes in states where current law or local law enforcement action are inadequate. This increased protection will help communities - such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - that continue to be subjected to bias-motivated violence and intimidation.

Take Action Now
Those opposed to the hate crimes prevention act will be flooding their senators' offices with calls. Don't let their voices drown our calls of support. Please take the time today to call your senators and have your support counted.

Call your Senators toll free TODAY and TOMORROW, July 15 & 16, at 1-866-659-9641, and urge them to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment known as the Leahy-Collins-Kennedy-Snowe Amendment to the Department of Defense Reauthorization Act - S. 1391. This toll-free number will connect you directly to your senators. If you want to know who your senators are, please click here or go to http://capwiz.com/pflag/dbq/officials/.

When you call, be sure to say:

I am a member of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). I am urging you to please support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment known as the Leahy-Collins-Kennedy-Snowe Amendment to the Department of Defense Reauthorization Act - S. 1391. This amendment would provide significant improvements to our current hate crimes prevention laws. Hate crimes cut across every community. Passing this amendment will ensure that all people have the right to be safe and free from physical harm and intimidation. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act sends a clear message that Americans do not have to live in fear. Please help by sponsoring and supporting the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment known as the Leah-Collins-Kennedy-Snow Amendment to S. 1391 today!

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