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House Passage of Hate Crimes Bill Vital Step Forward for Civil Rights

House Passage of Hate Crimes Bill Vital Step Forward for Civil Rights

Saperstein: "Crimes rooted in bias, hatred and intolerance against people who belong or are perceived to belong to particular groups are intended to intimidate and victimize entire communities and cannot be ignored."

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jason Fenster
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2009 - In response to the House passage this afternoon of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) of 2009, which would expand the classes protected by federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability and enhance federal involvement against hate crimes where necessary, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: 

We commend the House of Representatives for todays passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913). This long-overdue legislation will protect the safety and physical well-being of all Americans and provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to prosecute hate crimes. Crimes rooted in bias, hatred and intolerance against people who belong or are perceived to belong to particular groups are intended to intimidate and victimize entire communities and cannot be ignored. This vital legislation will strengthen our ability to respond to these deplorable acts.

 

We urge speedy Senate consideration and passage of the bill and look forward to its ultimate enactment, reflecting the value of and respect due to every human life.