Contemporary Expression


It’s been a long ten years
April 29, 2009, 2:00 am
Filed under: Coming Out, Equality, LGBT History

House to vote on Hate Crimes bill as early as Wednesday April 29th.

After Matthew’s death in 1999 I made a commitment to come out of every inch of every closet I had created for myself. Some closets were made for work preservation, some for fear of family abandonment, and some for safety. It’s been a long ten years of hard work for me to get to the point where I can live and work in an open and healthy place.

It’s taken ten years to get to this vote – I hope that you will join me in calling any representative in D.C. that will hear you not only to vote YES on HR 1913 but to celebrate the opportunity to do something long overdue.

Rep Jim Cooper from Tennessee has signed on as a sponsor of this and he needs to hear from you that he is representing Nashville proudly. CALL Now: 202-225-4311

Don’t live in Nashville? Contact your Congressperson now.
You can do this easily by calling 866-346-4611, the House switchboard.

BACKGROUND ON THE MATTHEW SHEPARD ACT:

1. Expands the existing definition of a “hate crime” to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability .

(Under existing law, if someone commits a violent crime against someone which is motivated by the victim’s race or religion, then that crime receives a harsher sentence than it would otherwise. HR 1913 simply expands the classes protected by this rule.)

2. Gives federal law enforcement greater leeway and resources to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, in case local law enforcement lacks the resources to, or chooses not to, investigate.

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