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Kit Bond voted for the Department of Defense appropriations bill today which included hate crimes provisions Roy Blunt said are "unconstitutional," criminalize "thought" and compromise "the very freedoms our service men and women fight to protect."
The measure was approved, 68 to 29, with a majority of Republicans voting against it.
Bond says he's not happy about the idea of voting to broaden the current definition of federal hate crimes -- which covers attacks motivated by race, color, religion or national origin -- to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, but if it's really an unconstitutional act to create thought crimes and destroy America, shouldn't Kit Bond really be making a bigger stink about it?Read More »
Roy Blunt was outraged by a defense authorization bill that passed the House by a 281-146 vote because it included new hate crimes protections that he says are "unconstitutional," criminalize "thought" and compromise "the very freedoms our service men and women fight to protect." Minority Leader John Boehner said the bill would institute "radical social policy."
But Blaine Luetkemeyer and 43 other Republicans voted for the bill and in favor of the unconstitutional radical social policy. "We must support our military men and women who are putting their lives on the line to defend our nation and our freedoms, and we must remain committed to the fight against terrorist regimes that seek to destroy our way of life," Luetkemeyer said.Read More »
The Post-Dispatch's Bill Lambrecht tweets that Roy Blunt will vote against the FY2010 defense authorization bill because it includes hate crimes provisions designed to protect gays and lesbians. The provisions Blunt opposes would expand federal hate crimes to include attacks based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or mental or physical disabilities.
The House passed the same protections in the "Matthew Shepard Act" in April by a 249-175 vote, which are supported by more than 300 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations. That legislation was then added to the DOD authorization bill in July by the Senate by a 63-28 vote.Read More »
Representatives from more than thirty equality advocacy organizations gathered in St. Louis this weekend for The Equality Federation's summer meeting. The conference -- to celebrate recent successes and discuss the continuing work to protect the lives of LGBT folks at the state and local level -- wrapped up yesterday.
"While we still wait for progress at the federal level on issues like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Employment protections and hate crimes, we have been very successful at moving things forward within our respective states," said AJ Bockelman. "For example, just this past spring, Columbia passed a domestic partner registry. It is limited in scope, but now at least registered couples can have some way to be recognized as a couple when one of them gets hospitalized or incarcerated."Read More »
In anticipation of hearings in Rep. Ike Skelton's House Armed Services Committee, a number of pro-equality groups are stepping up their efforts to demand the repeal of the nation's misguided "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy.
Passed by Congress in 1993, DADT is a law mandating the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members. Under the law, at least one individual per day on average is fired because they are gay or lesbian. Incredibly, almost 13,000 service members have been discharged since 1994. Since President Obama was sworn into office, almost 300 have been discharged.Read More »
Earlier this year in the House, committee chairs promised hearings on both the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (HB 701), sponsored by Rep. Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City), and Safe Schools legislation (HB 518), sponsored by Rep. Sara Lampe (D-Springfield).
Speaker Ron Richard is still refusing to release the bills to committee so they can receive a hearing.
The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act would extend the existing Missouri Human Rights Statute to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Lampe's Safe Schools legislation would clarify existing law to list specific categories of students (e.g. by race, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) against whom bullying is prohibited, and would require school districts to train teachers and administrators on how to handle bullying.