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Thursday, September 27, 2007

OutFront Minnesota Praises Passage of Hate Crimes Bill

From OutFront Minnesota:


OutFront Minnesota Praises Passage of Hate Crimes Bill Minnesota Senators voted in Favor
Contact: Monica Meyer, Public Policy Director 612-822-0127 ext. 115

Jo Marsicano, Communications Director, 612-822-0127 ext. 106
September 27th, 2007

(Minneapolis) OutFront Minnesota lauds the passage of the Mathew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act today in the United States Senate. Both U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman voted in favor of the bill, with Senator Klobuchar being a cosponsor. It is heartening that both senators are in consensus about the belief in protecting all Americans from hate and bias motivated crime.

The hate crimes bill would authorize federal investigations and prosecutions of crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability and gender identity. Gender identity is a particularly important inclusion in this bill because it protects our transgender citizens. The bill also emboldens state and local law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes based on the above criteria.

The legislation is supported by twenty-six state attorneys general including Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, as well as 230 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations. While Minnesota has hate crimes statutes that include sexual orientation, this federal legislation would enhance existing protections for GLBT Minnesotans.

The legislation is named after Mathew Shepard, a young gay man who was murdered in 1998. The bill was added as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill, which has yet to be voted on.

OutFront Minnesota is an advocacy, public policy, and direct service organization for the GLBT and allied community.

Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality. Celebrating Our 20th Year.

I have written the Human Rights Campaign or HRC to get a comment from them about Norm Coleman's vote. So far, I have not heard back.