STATUS OF HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION
The National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has declared October 19 "National
Hate Crimes Prevention Call-In Day," a day to lobby the leaders
of the House of Representatives to enact the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA)
before Congress adjourns. The HCPA would add sexual orientation along with
gender and disability as categories protected under federal hate crimes
law, as well as greatly expanding federal authorities' ability to
investigate and prosecute hate crimes. On October 5, 2000, a House-Senate
conference committee voted 11 - 9 to drop a Senate rider with the HCPA
language from the major defense spending bill (see PlanetOut
News of October 5), despite a strong majority of the House having
voted to "instruct" their conferees to retain the rider (see PlanetOut
News of September 13). The HCPA has majority support in both the House
and Senate including Republicans as well as Democrats, has long had the
vocal support of President Bill Clinton (D), has been endorsed by some 175
organizations including law enforcement and civil rights groups, and
according to polls is favored by about two-thirds of the public. (From
PlanetOut.com, October 18, 2000)
WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON HATE CRIMES
November 10, 1997
On November 10, 1997, the President
convened the first-ever White House Conference on Hate Crimes, a day-long
event held at The George Washington University. At the Conference, the
President announced significant law enforcement and prevention initiatives
to get tough on hate crimes. The Conference examined the positive actions
that communities are taking and outline the steps we all can take to
prevent hate crimes.
A hate crime is the embodiment of
intolerance -- an act of violence against a person or property based on
the victims race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual
orientation or disability. Every year, thousands of Americans are victims
of hate crimes -- and it is suspected that many more go unreported.
Teenagers and young adults account for a significant proportion of the
country's hate crimes -- both as perpetrators and victims. Every time one
of these crimes is committed it creates tension and fear, and tears at the
fabric of community life.
The Conference is an important
element of the President's Initiative on Race and of his vision for One
America. Members of the President's Advisory Board on Race participated in
the Conference at satellite locations.
The President, Vice President,
Attorney General and Secretary of Education were joined by other members
of the Cabinet, Members of Congress, selected state and local officials,
and approximately 350 leaders from the law enforcement, civil rights,
anti-violence, youth, education, and religious communities.
Hate crimes survivors also
attended. Participants included representatives from all 50 states.
Thousands more participated at over 50 satellite-linked events across the
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Remarks at White House Conference on Hate Crimes
Closing Remarks at White House Conference on Hate Crimes
Acts Hurt Kids
Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Contact the White House Conference
on Hate Crimes at (202) 456-6350.