Friday, July 17, 2009

Hate Crimes Passage Not A Given Just Yet

The Matthew Shepard Act, the Hate crimes bill, passed on a voice vote yesterday.

Good news indeed, as it extends protections of the forty-one-year-old hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bad news is that the Matthew Shepard Act was attached as an amendment to a defense spending bill. It is partially linked to $1.75 billion in funding for F-22 fighter jets.

Hate crimes and fighter jets? How does that happen?

President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates both oppose the F-22 program and a White House spokesperson said the president will not sign a DOD bill that continues to fund the program.

So, the Matthew Shepard Act may not pass because they attached to a bill about fighter planes. Am I the only one that finds this nonsensical?
Majority Leader and optimist Harry Reid feels a rewritten bill will eventually pass with the hate crimes amendment in place.

1 comment:

Mark in DE said...

I find this nonsensical too.