Gallup Poll Shows Majority of Americans Approve of Strengthened Hate Crimes Law
According to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this month, 68 percent of all Americans believe that federal hate crime laws should protect people from discrimination or violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. The American public's approval of widening hate crime laws comes in the face of President Bush’s threat to veto the House’s Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which has already passed, and the Senate version of the bill, the Matthew Shepard Act. The strengthened legislation would enable federal authorities to investigate hate crimes if local investigators lack the resources or are unwilling to pursue the cases. The bill passed the House 237-180 and the Senate will vote soon on the Shepard Act, named after a young man who was murdered in 1998 for being gay.
Support for the new hate crime legislation is strong across the political parties. Seventy-five percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents, and 60 percent of Republicans agree that hate crime laws should include sexual orientation and gender identity. "I hope President Bush will look at this poll and realize how unbelievably out-of-line a threatened veto of this critical crime-fighting piece of legislation is with a majority of Americans. President Bush's threatened veto isn't even supported by his base," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that advocates equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgener community.
Media Resources: Human Rights Campaign 5/17/07; FMF 5/4/07
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .