Isn't there a chance Bush can be pressured into supporting the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
, assuming it were to reach his desk?
The typically pro-gay Religious Society of Friends--the Quaker church--surprised many gay men and lesbians on August 16, when its social justice activism arm, the American Friends Service Committee, took a strong stand against hate-crimes laws, calling them "seriously flawed." AFSC spokeswoman Katherine Whitlock says the group opposes the proposed federal Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
because it would disproportionately affect minorities and the poor by handing too much power to a federal criminal justice system "which we feel mirrors the hate and violence in our society."
"The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
of 2001 is now a symbol that can become substance.
Nonetheless, prospects for the two major pieces of gay rights legislation in the Congress, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
(the federal hate-crimes law), remain uncertain.
They only care if it's served up to them by gay activists." (The federal bill has been renamed the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
Gay rights advocates in Congress on March 27 introduced a new hate-crimes bill--now titled the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
. But given President Bush's outspoken opposition to the proposal, getting the bill signed into law will be difficult at best.
The Senate Democratic leadership introduced its civil rights package January 24, and for the first time the list of legislative priorities included both the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as well as the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
, a bill intended to combat hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation.
Federal hate-crimes bill dies: Under pressure from the Republican leadership in Congress, members of a House-Senate conference delete the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act
, a bill that would add sexual orientation to the list of categories covered under hate-crimes law, from a defense spending authorization bill.