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'Hate Crimes' Amendment Added to Defense Authorization Act

by Staff
July 20, 2009

WASHINGTON, ( -- Late last night, the Senate voted 63-28 to attach the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909) to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390). The Defense Act addresses funding for the U.S. military, but it now includes an amendment that would give special protections to individuals based on their "perceived or actual" sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), states, "The point of the 'hate crimes' amendment is to create a special class of victims that would get preferential treatment. 'Hate crimes' laws contradict the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and create unequal justice by elevating some groups of victims at the expense of others. Victims who engage in homosexual, transgender, or other sexual behavior get special treatment over victims who are military officers, police officers or veterans. How offensive to add special preferences for homosexuals and transgender people to a Department of Defense funding bill but deny that to members of the military -- especially in the wake of a deadly shooting at a military recruiting station and an overall increase in violence against our military."

"Republican senators fought for amendments to protect Constitutional rights, and more amendments are expected next week. The fight is not over yet, and CWA will continue to encourage our grassroots members to convince their legislators to vote for equal justice for all, not special preferences for some."

Shari Rendall, Director of Legislation and Public Policy at CWA, says, "Senators need to focus on important military issues and not be wasting their time on an issue which is already being handled in the states."

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.

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