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Bill nears finish line, in hopes that LGBTs won't prematurely reach theirs

by Jeremy Hooper

Years of thoroughly offensive lies meant to stigmatize LGBT people.

Countless debate about how and why we protect our nation's most vulnerable.

An inability to find ourselves with both a supportive President and a supportive Congress.

Matt-Photobw-Full-1The hate crimes debate has been among our community's most annoying, overwrought, and dehumanizing. But late last night, the key step to long-awaited victory happened in the United States Senate:

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the U.S. Senate today for successfully invoking a motion for cloture to proceed to the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909) Amendment, which would provide local police and sheriff’s departments with federal resources to combat hate violence. The cloture motion to consider the Amendment to the FY 2010 Department of Defense Authorization bill was adopted on a vote of 63 to 28.

Clearing the 60 vote threshold stops any Republican filibuster and allows the Matthew Shepard Act Amendment to proceed to final passage, which is expected on Monday. Cloture is a procedural tool to allow debate, and eventually passage, to occur. It requires 60 votes instead of a simple majority.

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Clears Key Senate Hurdle [HRC]

An excellent development.

And one thing we promise to our opposition, who so unscrupulously (and dangerously) said whatever came to their homo-hostile mind in order to derail this measure? That while neither we nor historical record will ever forget the demonization, we promise that we will not spend our time time throwing it all back in your faces in a boastful manner. That's not the way we roll. Because at the end of the day, we don't really care about the personality or the politics: We care about the progress and the peace. And we are now one step closer to reaching our goal.

**SEE ALSO: At link is the roll call. Republicans who joined the Dems: Lugar, Murkowski, Collins, Snowe, Voinovich: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on Leahy Amdt. No. 1511 ) [Senate]

**UPDATE: But does the Department of Defense authorization bill, on which the Shepard Act passed as an amendment, face a veto? Well, maybe:

Though the amendment garnered three votes more than necessary to reach cloture, the fate of the hate crimes measure is now partially linked to $1.75 billion in funding for F-22 fighter jets that is also included in the DOD legislation.
Hate Crimes Passes, Faces Veto [Advocate]

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Your thoughts

And here is latest on that: from WaPo
Gates Sharpens Rhetoric In Dispute on F-22 Funds
Secretary Pushes to Terminate Program


Posted by: LOrion | Jul 17, 2009 11:42:17 AM

Guess which tag-along bill gets dropped in order for the F-22 funds to get pulled from the bill in order to get Obama to sign it? You get a bonus point if your answer is the Hate Crimes Bill.

I seriously believe we're getting played like a violin on this one. I hope I'm wrong, but history has proven that we're really just pawns in the political scheme of things.

Posted by: Audrey Hopkins | Jul 18, 2009 5:14:53 AM

The day Matt Shepard took that picture, he was in San Francisco and a college friend took them.

They so poignant in retrospect...he looked so fine and all American.
I hope his name on this bill will serve to protect and value every young person like him.
He, sadly, wasn't the first victim of anti gay hate, not the last...not the youngest.

The work goes on...

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Jul 19, 2009 10:46:47 AM

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