National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Opposing Amendment No. 1251
HATE CRIME STATISTICS ACT (Senate February 8, 1990)
Congressional Record [S1070]
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Washington, DC, July 14, 1989.
Dear Senator: I urge you to support S. 419, the Hate Crime Statistics Act and to oppose
an attempt by Senator Jesse Helms to add an amendment that would cripple this vital
As you know, the Hate Crime Statistics Act is legislation designed to provide for the
collection of data on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual
orientation or ethnicity. We expect Senator Helms to paint this simple act as a gay rights
bill by offering a `Sense of the Senate amendment which would state:
- Homosexuals threaten the American family;
- Sodomy laws should be enforced;
- The federal government should not enact discrimination protections based on sexual
- School curricula should not condone homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle in American
Senator Helms amendment would stir up the kind of anti-gay sentiment that leads
to violence against lesbian and gay people. Support for this amendment sends a signal that
homosexuals are a threat to society and should be treated as such. It is hypocritical, on
the one hand, to support a bill to collect data based on anti-gay violence and then call
the homosexual community a threat to society.
This legislation will not further the cause of civil rights for lesbian and gay people.
In fact, the text of this bill specifically says: `Nothing in this section creats a cause
of action or a right to bring an action, including an action based on discrimination due
to sexual orientation.
The Helms amendment will create more hostility toward gay people. Support a clean Hate
Crime Statistics Act! Oppose the Helms amendment and send to the Department of Justice a
bill that makes a clear statement about the problem of escalating hate violence in
Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director.
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