Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), today continued her ongoing efforts to fight bias-motivated violent crimes by voting in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expands federal protection for hate crime victims, to include individuals targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, in addition to their race, color, religion or national origin. The bill will also provide assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies for the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.
"Violent, bias-motivated crimes targeting any American should never be tolerated," said Bono Mack. "This legislation provides our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with valuable resources to help them fight against hate crimes. Americans of all walks of life deserve equal protection under the law, and I am pleased to be a part of this effort to end prejudice-based violence against groups of individuals and entire communities."
Kevin Bass, Human Rights Campaign, Board of Governors, said, "We are all one step closer to a federal law that protects ALL Americans from hate crimes thanks to in part to my Congressperson - Mary Bono Mack. She understands the importance in giving law enforcement the tools they need to combat this serious and dangerous problem. I am proud to live in her district."
Current federal hate crime law covers violent crimes based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act expands the law to include violent crimes committed against an individual based on his/her sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The bill additionally provides federal resources to help state and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of violent, bias-motivated crimes.
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is endorsed by over 280 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, including: the National Sheriffs' Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National District Attorneys Association, Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Young Women's Christian Association and National Disability Rights Network.