Last edited: February 14, 2005

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Opposing Amendment No. 1251

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

Congressional Record [S1070]

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Washington, DC, July 14, 1989.

Dear Senator: We are writing to express our concern about the growing number of hate-motivated crimes. The hate crime is any assault—intimidation or harassment—that is due to the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic background. Statistics compiled by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the National Gay and Lesbian Task force show that such crimes are increasing at an alarming rate.

In light of this information, we urge you to support the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (S. 419). This legislation would require the Attorney General to collect data on these crimes for the first time. At the present time, the federal government has no comprehensive way in which to determine the number of crimes based on hate.

Although this bill has the support of many different groups including religious, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations, as well as the Department of Justice, there are those who oppose the legislation. We believe that Senator Helms is posed to offer an amendment which finds fault with the collection of statistics on crimes committed against gays and lesbians. This would hinder the effectiveness of the legislation, and is extremely unnecessary.

Senators Simon and Hatch will offer an amendment to the bill which makes clear that S. 419 only allows for the collection of statistics; in no way does it promote or encourage any type of sexual activity or orientation.

Please support the Hate Crimes Statistics Act and the Simon/Hatch amendment, while at the same time rejecting the Helms amendment.

We thank you for your support.


Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Associate Director.

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