For many years a broad coalition of groups has worked together to advocate for tougher laws against hate crimes – all hate crimes. One of the primary goals of this coalition is to expand the legal definition of hate crimes to include those who are victimized not only because of race, religion, or national origin, but actual or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Current federal law does not provide authority for involvement in these four categories of cases at all.
The coalition of groups is a “dream team” of everyone who shares a stake in this legislation: from traditional civil rights groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, to women’s advocacy groups like the American Association of University Women, gay rights groups, disability groups, labor unions, community organizations, and scores of law enforcement associations – over 250 groups in all.
The New Agenda is proud to join this august coalition and make passage of this legislation our #1 goal. On February 1st, we attended a meeting of the coalition where we learned that 2009 may be the year it finally happens. We will update you when the bill is introduced and let you know how we can work together to make it law.
For more information about the legislation please see this section of our website: The New Agenda – Goals For even more information about the legislation and other hate crime related matters, please visit this section of CivilRights.org, a fantastic resource center presented by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.