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 Americansincluding lesbian
and gay Americans.
Senator Helms is trying to add to the bill a Sense of the Senate amendment
- 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 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.
Sincerely, CYNTHIA G. GOLDSTEIN, ESQ.
Director, Anti-Violence Litigation Project.
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