Last edited: February 14, 2005

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Opposing Amendment No. 1251

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

Congressional Record [S1070]

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., New York, NY, July 13, 1989.

Dear Senate Member: On behalf of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the millions of Americans for whom it speaks, I strongly urge you to oppose attempts by Senator Jesse Helms to cripple S. 419, the Hate Crime Statistics Act.

The Hate Crime Statistics Act directs the Department of Justice to collect data on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The bill does not advocate any particular way of life or point of view, or condone any specific pattern of conduct. The bill does, however, send a clear message to the nation that violence arising from irrational prejudice is wrong, including criminal acts against gay and lesbian Americans.

Senator Helms apparently intends to add to the bill a `Sense of the Senate’ amendment that would assert, among other things, the following:

  • That sexual orientation diversity threatens the family community;
  • That sodomy laws should be enforced;
  • That the federal government should not enact discrimination protection based on sexual orientation; and
  • That school curricula should not condone sexual orientation diversity as acceptable social choices.

Such a declaration would transform the Hate Crime Statistics Act into an anti-gay diatribe. By doing so, it would actually foster and incite the kind of violence the bill is designed to deter, thus undermining the basic purpose of the legislation.

We respectfully request that you resist this and any similar efforts to dilute the Hate Crime bill.

Very truly yours,

Thomas B. Stoddard, Executive Director.

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