Last edited: February 14, 2005

National Gay Rights Advocates Opposing Amendment No. 1251

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

Congressional Record [S1070]

National Gay Rights Advocates, San Francisco, CA.

U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Senator: I urge you to oppose attempts by Senator Jesse Helms to cripple S. 419, the Hate Crime Statistics Act.

The Hate Crime Statistics Act is a simple bill designed only for the purpose of collecting data on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The legislation does nothing to further the cause of civil rights for lesbian and gay people. It does, however, send a signal to the nation that Congress is serious about battling violence against all Americans—including lesbian and gay Americans.

Senator Helms is trying to add to the bill a ‘Sense of the Senate’ amendment which states:

  • Homosexuals threaten the American family;
  • Sodomy laws should be enforced;
  • The Federal government should not enact discrimination protections based on sexual orientation;
  • School curricula should not condone homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle in American society.

Senator Helms wants to turn the Hate Crime Statistics Act into an anti-gay diatribe. His ‘Sense of the Senate’ 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 to those who commit hate crimes that homosexuals are a threat to society and should be handled as such.

One cannot support the Hate Crime Statistics Act while at the same time categorizing an entire group of people as a ‘threat.’

Support the Hate Crime Statistics Act and oppose the Helms amendment.


Director, Anti-Violence Litigation Project. 

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