KENNEDY ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION
Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy released the following statement on passage by the House of Representatives of the Matthew Shepard hate crimes legislation. Kennedy is the sponsor of similar legislation in the Senate.
"I commend the House for its action to strengthen the inadequate existing federal law on hate crimes. No members of society - none - deserve to be victims of a violent crime because of their race, their religion, their ethnic background, their disability, their gender, their gender identity, or their sexual orientation. It's long past time for Congress to do more to prevent hate crimes and insist that they be fully investigated and prosecuted when they occur. This important legislation is supported by a broad coalition of over 300 law enforcement, civic, religious and civil rights organizations and I look forward to prompt action by the Senate."