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Matthew Shepard Act

May 21, 2007

Watch out now, activist politics heading your way.
In case you haven’t heard, the Matthew Shepard Act is making its way through Congress right now. It passed the House a couple of weeks ago, and is going through the Senate now. This is a bill which would expand greatly the governments ability to respond to violent crimes where the victim was chosen because of his or her sexual identity or gender expression. The rate of murders of transgender people is appalling, and according to the Human Rights Campaign 1 in 6 hate crimes are motivated by the person’s sexual orientation. HRC has a website where you can email your senators about this, encouraging them to vote in favor of the bill:
http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/matthew_shepard
The religious right is very mobilized on this issue, because they feel it will stop them from being able to express their ‘biblical concerns’ with homosexuality. (For bias purposes, I’ll say I did this bit of research on HRC’s website…) Thing is, this bill targets only violent crimes. In other words, the only biblical concerns you can no longer express under this bill are the ones that involve beating or killing the person who concerns you. Check out this website for more on it:
http://www.hrc.org/Content/NavigationMenu/HRC/Get_Informed/Federal_Legislation/Hate_Crimes_110th_Factsheet/The_Local_Law_Enforcement_Hate_Crimes_Prevention_Act_Matthew_Shepard_Act.htm
Take a minute to write in to your senators. It’s painless and if you un-check enough boxes then you shouldn’t get any emails from HRC about it.

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