Tag Archives: hate crimes

Hate Crimes Overturned In Pennsylvania

A lawsuit by Christian activist group Repent America has successfully overturned the portion of Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law that covers sexual orientation and physical disability. Yesterday a state court voted 5-1 to overturn a 2002 expansion of the law, ruling that the amendment was created unconstitutionally because it was inserted into another bill covering agricultural vandalism. An as yet unapproved …

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Setbacks

Today Nancy Pelosi is expected to announce a postponement of the final vote on the defense funding authorization bill to which the Matthew Shepard (hate crimes) Act is attached. The Out Of Iraq Caucus, a group of as many as 20 gay-supportive Democrats, are threatening to vote against the act because it would provide funding for President Bush to continue …

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Hate Crime Conviction In Sandy Case

Yesterday a Brooklyn jury convicted Anthony Fortunado in the death of Michael Sandy (left), who was lured to a local park last year after meeting Fortunado online. At the park, Fortunado, with three accomplices, attempted to rob Sandy, who was killed by a car as he attempted to escape. Fortunado was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted …

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Dan Savage On Colbert

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Sandy Murder Trial Update

To bolster his contention that he is gay himself and therefore not subject to hate crimes embellishments in the murder of Michael Sandy, yesterday three “older” men testified on behalf of defendant Anthony Fortunato, 21, stating that they had hooked up with Fortunato online previous to the Sandy murder. Two of the men mentioned that Fortunato had showed up at …

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Matthew Shepard Act Squeaks By!

By a 60-39 vote, the Senate just passed the Matthew Shepard Act. Sixty votes were required for cloture. Happy day! John McCain was the missing voter. Yes/No vote tally here. In a gracious gesture after the vote, Sen. Kennedy suggested a unanimous approval of Sen. Orrin Hatch’s competing hates crimes amendment, which would merely have authorized a study of hate …

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Senate Hate Crimes (Matthew Shepard Act) Vote Tomorrow

From yesterday’s HRC’s Backstory: This afternoon, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), one of the lead sponsors of the Senate hate crimes bill, took to the Senate floor to urge the Senate to pass the hate crimes bill (S. 1105) and for President Bush to sign the legislation into law. Earlier today, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a cloture motion on the …

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Self-Hate Crimes

A year ago, I wrote about the murder of gay New Yorker Michael Sandy, who died after being struck by a car as he ran from four gay-bashers who had lured him to a Brooklyn park by picking him up on a gay chat site. After Sandy died from his injuries, police upgraded the charges to second-degree murder with hate …

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LGBT Hate Crimes Memorial Launches

Towleroad has the exclusive story about the launch of a traveling memorial to the LGBT victims of hate crimes. Scott Hall, longtime activist Frank Kameny, US. Representative Barney Frank and Amazing Race winner and activist Chip Arndt are spearheading the launch of Gay American Heroes, a national memorial to honor LGBT people murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender …

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White House Vows To Veto Any Bill Attached To Hate Crimes Legislation

White House spokesman Tony Fratto yesterday said that President Bush plans to veto any bill to which the Matthew Shepard Act (MSA) is attached. Fratto: “The qualifications [in the bill] are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate crimes elements. The proposals they’re talking about are not sufficiently narrow.” Last month Sen. …

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Hate Crimes Bill Suspended

Lacking the 60 vote threshold needed for approval, the Department of Defense reauthorization bill (to which the Matthew Shepard Act has been attached) was just removed from consideration by Senate Majority Leader Reid. Negotiations continue to get the bill reintroduced.

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Breaking News:
Hate Crimes Bill Vote May Come Today

Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) have attached the Senate hate crimes bill, the Matthew Shepard Act, to a Department of Defense reauthorization bill which may come to a vote as early as today. Call your Senators NOW and urge their support of S.1105. The right wing has been burying Senators with calls opposing the bill. Call them …

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Hate Crime Victim Commits Suicide

David Ritcheson, the Texas youth who at 16 was the victim of a brutal hate crime at the hands of neo-Nazi skinheads, leading to his becoming a passionate and articulate advocate for hate crimes laws, jumped to his death from a cruise ship on Sunday. He was 18. At a party in 2005, Ritcheson was beaten and sodomized with a …

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Eggs & Excrement At Jerusalem Pride

Jerusalem’s Pride parade was this morning, where marchers encountered hundreds of Haredi, Israel’s bizarre Ultra Othodox sect, who arrived with eggs and bags of human excrement to hurl. Just before the parade kicked off, police arrested a 32-year old man carrying a bomb which he said he’d planned to detonate near the parade to “scare people away.” Two hundred Haredi …

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Bishop Harry Jackson Takes Out
Anti-Matthew Shepard Act Ads

Bishop Harry Jackson: “Gay activists around the country are getting nervous that they are about to experience an embarrassing political setback. Instead of amending the hate crimes legislation that protects churches in a substantive way, they are simply crying out in a louder, more threatening manner. Gay advocates are not looking for fairness; they are looking for an upper hand. …

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Baldwin & Barney: Stop Killing Of LGBT Iraqis

Openly gay reps Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank have written to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, demanding an inquiry into the abuse and murder of LGBT people in Iraq. The full text of the letter is here. Islamic militias continue to abuct Iraqis suspected of being gay, often leaving their battered corpses for their families to find. In April, the …

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Desperation Moves

In an “open letter to the black community” televangelist Rev. Harry Jackson Jr. is calling on African-Americans to oppose the Matthew Shepard Act, the Senate version of the LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill that recently passed in the House. Jackson: “As a pastor, I am concerned about the potential of being charged with a crime as the result of the actions …

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Jethro Did It

Police have identified the man who broadcast anti-gay death threats over the Fort Lauderdale International airport intercom as Jethro Monestime, 23, a skycap for Superior Aircraft Services. The Broward County sheriff’s department has referred the case to the state to see if criminal charges are applicable. Monestime’s job is not under the jurisdiction of the airport authority and his employers …

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Hate Crimes Vote Recap

A 2/3 majority would be needed in both the House and Senate to override Dubya’s possible veto of the Hate Crimes Act, which the bill’s backers do not think they can achieve. Although his senior advisors are recommending a veto, historically, the Decider has been very hesitant to use his veto privilege, so we might still have a chance. In …

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Hate Crimes Bill Passes House!

Here is the result of the just completed House vote on the Hate Crimes Act, HR 1592: Democratic: Yes: 212 No: 14 Republican: Yes: 25 No: 166 Total: Yes: 237 No: 180 To applause and a few cheers, from the podium, Barney Frank exhulted, “The bill is passed!” Human Rights Campaign head Joe Solmonese: “This is a historic day that …

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