Hate Crimes

Virginia Foxx Calls Matthew Shepard's Murder a "Hoax"

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) claimed on the House Floor yesterday that Matthew Shepard, whom the Hate Crimes bill is named after, was killed "in the commitment of robbery," not because he was gay. Rep. Foxx went on to say, "the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's, it's really a hoax, that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."  

Even more reprehensible, she said all of this while directly across from Judy Shepard, the mother of the Matthew Shepard. 

Un-be-lievable.

A quick look at her voting record, and you can see she marches in lockstep with Rush Limbaugh and the far right base of the party. She earned a 100% rating by the Naitonal Right to Life Committee for her pro-life stance; a 0% rating by the Human Right Campaign for her anti-equality votes; and 19% rating by the NAACP for her anti-affirmative-action votes. In September 2005, Foxx was one of 11 members of Congress to vote against the $51 billion aid package to victims of Hurricane Katrina. In July 2006, she joined 32 of her Republican colleagues to vote against the extension of the landmark Voting Rights Act championed by Dr. King.

She earned every bit of Keith Olbermann's designation for her as yesterday's "Worst Person in the World." North Carolinians deserve much better.

Find out the truth about hate crimes here.

Rep. Bobby Scott Shouts Out AAMIA on the House Floor

During floor debate on the Hate Crimes House Bill, Rep. Bobby Scott entered into the record the good work of our African American Ministers in Action. He held up our letter in support of the Hate Crimes legislation, and our fact sheet on the bill.

Thanks to Rep. Scott for the shout out, and to the ministers for their hard work on this critical legislation!

Good News and Bad News on Hate Crime Rates

The FBI released official statistics yesterday for how many hate crimes were committed last year. The good news: there was a slight decline in the total number of hate crimes, mostly due to a drop in the number of hate crimes committed that involved bias on the basis of race and religion.

But the bad news is pretty troubling:

Incidents motivated by bias based on sexual orientation, however, were up 5.5 percent from 2006 and those targeting people because of their ethnicity or national origin rose 2.3 percent.

Read the Washington Post's story about the report here.

Oh, What a Week

Sarah Palin and John McCain

By the end of the Democratic National Convention last week my feet were aching but my spirit was soaring. I loved meeting People For members, and had a chance to connect with a lot of progressive advocates, political leaders, and potential donors. Our standing-room-only panel on the future of the Supreme Court was thoughtful and lively. Several of our staff did magnificent jobs in other panel discussions throughout the week. And the whole event felt like history in the making.

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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/01/2014, 11:10am
WorldNetDaily pundits seem to have a habit of substantiating many of their more inflammatory claims by simply saying they “read it somewhere,” and today’s column by Les Kinsolving is no different. Kinsolving writes that he’s “seen reports that 30 alternative sexual orientations,” such as “coprophilia, incest, urophilia, exhibitionism and klismaphilia,” are now “federally protected by the so-called Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.” Wasn’t the existence of NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association –... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 04/23/2014, 1:40pm
As we reported yesterday, conservative activists are livid about a new bill to update a 1993 National Telecommunications and Information Administration report “on the current prevalence of hate crimes and hate speech in telecommunications,” which anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller said “is Sharia.” While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday, Geller alleged that the bill will “silence” any “criticism of the left and of the Islamic machine,” while Mefferd called the legislation “creeping Sharia like crazy.” The 1993 report [PDF]... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/22/2014, 11:15am
WorldNetDaily today repeated long-debunked myths about the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Law to stoke fears about a new Hate Crimes Reporting Act introduced in the wake of the mass shooting at two Jewish centers outside of Kansas City. Barack Obama, when he was new in the Oval Office, signed a “hate crimes” law that created a two-tier system of punishment, increasing the punishment for a Christian pastor who attacked a homosexual but not for a homosexual who attacked a Christian pastor. The reasoning was simple. The homosexual is in a protected class of U.S.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/18/2013, 12:00pm
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared this week on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) will be used to protect pedophiles: When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 01/28/2013, 5:50pm
Before the passage of the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action predicted that the hate crimes legislation would “send pastors to prison” and give legal protections to pedophiles. Of course, pastors haven’t been sent to prison and pedophilia wasn’t legalized, but that hasn’t stopped Porter from repeating even more false claims. Today on her radio bulletin, she asserted that President Obama is “declaring war against those who refuse to accept and affirm” the so-called “homosexual agenda” and is bent on... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/21/2012, 11:20am
American Family Association president Tim Wildmon yesterday hosted conservative writer Neil Mammen on Today’s Issues, where Wildmon warned that “if President Obama is re-elected again” he will “threaten our religious freedoms” by making hate speech laws to “shut you down if you have anything critical to say about homosexuality.” Conservatives have been warning, dishonestly, of impending hate speech laws for years now, with groups warning of churches being closed and pastors getting arrested and going to prison. While their nightmare vision never seems... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/11/2012, 2:01pm
Early in 2010, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan and three Michigan pastors filed a lawsuit against the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The group was represented by the ultra-right wing Thomas More Law Center, which argued that "the sole purpose of this law is to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin." The lawsuit was dismissed in September of that year and that was the last we had heard... MORE