Thursday, April 30, 2009

S. 909: From Matthew Shepard's Mom, an Appeal

The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act (HR 1913) has passed the house (249-175, go here to see how your congressional member voted, only 18 republicans voted FOR the bill), but now faces the US Senate as S.909 introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy with bipartisan co-sponsors including:

Sen. Edward Kennedy [D, MA]
Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]
Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN]
Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]
Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]
Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT]
Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY-20]
Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]
Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA]
Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]
Sen. Carl Levin [D, MI]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
Sen. Jeff Merkley [D, OR]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]
Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]
Sen. John Reed [D, RI]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Arlen Specter [D, PA]
Sen. Mark Udall [D, CO]
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]

S 909 is next scheduled to go to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Likely no votes:

Cobern (R-OK) is very anti-gay. Cobern is about as anti-gay as one could be. He supports a ban on gay adoptions and likewise a federal ban on gay marriage. For more of his record, go here.
Cornyn (R-TX) is very anti-gay and strongly called for a constitutional amendment opposing lgbt marriage.
Graham (R-SC) very anti-gay and strongly supports a constitutional amendment to ban lgbt marriage.
Grassley (R-IA) very anti-gay. Record here.
Orin Hatch (R-UT) previously opposed gender identity in hate crimes legislation, supports gay marriage ban. Record here.
Kyl (R-AZ) anti gay, supports gay marriage ban as constitutional amendment, previously voted no on inclusion of gender identity in hate crimes legislation. Record here.
Sessions (R-AL)
ditto Kyl, above. Record here.

If you are represented by any of the above senators, please contact their offices about this bill. Let them know you want them to support the bill and that you are watching their votes:

You can reach your senator by going here:

You can click on the state, your US Senators will be at the top of the list with e-mail and telephone contact information. I did both, sent a letter and called.

Please help our friends, family and those we do not know. Help law enforcement by giving them the legal tools they need to properly prosecute hate crimes against our lgbt friends and family.

Thank you.

Additional Links:
(Bill Language not yet available on line).
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Human Rights Coalition

hat tip to