Last edited: December 08, 2004

American Jewish Congress Opposing Amendment No. 1251

HATE CRIME STATISTICS ACT (Senate — February 8, 1990)

Congressional Record [S1069]

American Jewish Congress, Washington, DC, July 14, 1989.

Dear Senator: On behalf of the American Jewish Congress and its 50,000 members nationwide, I urge you to support the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (S. 419) without weakening amendments when this important legislation is brought to the Senate floor.

The Hate Crime Statistics Act would direct the Department of Justice to collect and publish, for five years, statistics on crimes which manifest prejudice based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The Department of Justice has expressed strong support for the bill. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed companion legislation, H.R. 1048, on June 27.

We urge you to oppose a Sense of the Senate Resolution that Senator Jesse Helms will likely propose as an amendment to S. 419. There are indications that Senator Helms will propose the same clearly inappropriate amendment that he was prepared to introduce last Congress if the Hate Crimes Statistics Act had been brought to the floor. The amendment is not relevant to a data collection bill. Its only possible effect could be to indicate to some that violence against homosexuals is somehow less egregious than violence against other groups.

As Senator Hatch stated in co-sponsoring S. 419, `[T]his act is only about Federal data collection.’ The bill makes clear that it does not create any substantive rights or causes of action. Senator Hatch and Senator Simon will introduce an amendment on the floor stating that `Nothing in this bill promotes or encourages homosexuality.’ We ask you to support this amendment.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Steve Silbiger, Washington Representative.

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