Today the Senate voted (68-29) to pass the conference report for the FY 2010 Department of Defense Authorization bill, which included the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Act gives the Department of Justice (DOJ) the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the DOJ with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The Senate vote comes after House passage (281-146) on October 8, 2009. Recent polls show that majorities of every major subgroup of the electorate support strengthening hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. More than 280 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations support the Act.
Today, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposed regulatory changes that would include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in HUD programs, as well as the first-ever nationwide survey of housing discrimination against LGBT people.
Days before the United States Senate is set to vote on federal legislation to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from hate violence, a shocking new security camera video was released this morning showing the brutality of hate violence. The video, aired exclusively this morning on the local NY ABC affiliate, WABC, shows a Queens, NY gay man being horrifically beaten last Thursday in what New York police have classified an anti-gay hate crime.
The Rev. Rizi Nasele Timane’ and the Gospel Truth Music Ministry are airing a 30-second commercial identifying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s struggle for full equality as a civil rights issue and promoting equality for all. The ad has been running locally in California on CNN, E TV and Bravo TV.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced today that C-SPAN will cover President Barack Obama’s remarks at the organization’s 13th Annual National Dinner live this Saturday evening.
The Courage Campaign, a California-based organization with more than 700,000 members, announced today that it will host a special Camp Courage training event on Saturday, October 10, in Washington, D.C., before the National Equality March. The March is expected to draw thousands of people from around the country in support of equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is supporting the National Equality March (NEM) saying in a letter addressed to steering committee members, “I write to join in your commitment to ensure equality under the law.” The letter was delivered on September 30.
Last Friday, I was personally attacked, again, by Brian Brown in an email to his purported more than 500,000 supporters. Brian is very unhappy that his organization is now being investigated by Maine, the second state to conduct such an investigation, and Brian lashed out at me.