Capitol Hill Update: Attempt to Overturn "Hate Crimes" Legislation Blocked in the House of Representatives


Note the latest news from the Office of the Republican Whip in the United States House of Representatives, Eric Cantor, from Virginia.

"Tonight, Republicans offered a motion to instruct conferees to remove the hate crimes language from the Defense Authorization conference report.  (That language was added in the Senate.)  The vote on this motion failed by a vote of 178-234 (R, 156-9; D, 22-225).  The hate crimes bill passed the House as a standalone measure on April 29 by a vote of 249-175 (R, 18-158; D, 231-17).  Please let me know if you have any questions.  And thank you to those of you who expressed support for removing this language from the Defense Authorization bill!"

Here is the background information on the so-called "hate crimes" legislation voted on today from the office of the Chairman of the House Values Action Team, Congressman Joseph Pitts, from Pennsylvania:

Background on hate crimes legislation:

Hate crimes legislation would make "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" federally protected classes under the U.S. Criminal Code.  It would segregate people based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other vague terms.  Such terms are not even defined in the bill.  However, they are very liberally defined by the medical and psychiatric community.  "Hate crimes" legislation would sanction segregation and would afford preferential treatment to a special class of people.  It would, in fact, require that only some people be treated equal under law.   

This legislation could restrict free speech and eventually lead to criminal prosecution of religious leaders or members of religious groups based on their speech or other protected activities. In addition, H.R. 1913 provides funding and grants to any state and local entity to investigate and litigate instances of hate crimes.  This means that federal funding could be used to implement state hate crime laws, many of which are more restrictive than the federal hate crime law and limit First Amendment rights.

Christian Coalition of America will be scoring tonight's vote as well as the April 29th vote on the so-called "hate crimes" legislation in its 2009 Congressional Scorecard. 

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