Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bayh And Lugar Support Hate Crimes Amendment

The Matthew Shepard Act was successfully attached to a bill authorizing continued funding of the Iraqi War today in the Senate. Indiana's senators, Evan Bayh (D) and Richard Lugar (R), were among the 60 senators casting an aye vote. The final vote on the procedural motion allowing the hate crimes amendment was 60-39 with one member absent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Nine Republicans joined all Democrats and two independents in supporting the amendment. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), still there and in denial, cast a "no" vote.

"We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home, " said Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR). The legislation has now passed both the House and Senate at least once this session. The Act extends the hate crimes category in federal law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability and gives federal authorities greater leeway to participate in hate crime investigations. It also provides $10 million over the next two years to help local law enforcement officials cover the cost of hate crime prosecutions.

Both Bayh and Lugar were heavily lobbied by the American Family Association of Indiana and Advance America to vote against the Matthew Shepard Act. When an earlier vote was taken in the House, two Democrats from Indiana, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, caved into the pressure from the two religious right groups and voted against the Act. It's good to see Bayh and Lugar had the fortitude at least on today's vote to ignore the homo-bigoted pleas from the far right. As a proponent of the single subject rule, I deplore attaching completely unrelated substantive legislation to spending bills as was done today. Unfortunately, that's how business is conducted these days in Congress. President Bush has threatened to veto the Act standing alone.

8 comments:

Sir Hailstone said...

How did Julia Carson vote on this?

After all the conflict of issues like furthering gay rights and funding of a war she vehemently opposes both tied together in one single package.

Or was she even there for the vote?

Granted one of her staffers or Rep. Pete DeFazio could have voted on her behalf.

Advance Indiana said...

Today's vote was only taken in the Senate. She cast an earlier vote for it when it passed the House in a completely unrelated bill.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Why do you say that Julia vehemently opposes furthering gay rights? She seemed to be the sole Democrat locally who had the fortitude to stand for gay rights when the CCC debated the human rights ordinance.

Sir Hailstone said...

Anonymous Coward 5:18 - Reread my post. C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y.

Did I say she was against gay rights? No. I did not.

I know she claims to favor gay rights. What I said was the personal conflict of supporting gay rights and funding a war she vehemently opposes. They were tied together in the final bill.

Anonymous said...

sir hailstone seems to show his lack of knowledge about the congressional procedures and what is going on.....hint....Julia Carson is in the house not in the senate.

Anonymous said...

It looks like someone slept a little too often in grammar class, especially when the use of commas was discussed.

Sir Hailstone said...

I know Julia is in the House. Normally the bills passed by the House are the same as the ones passed by the Senate, and vice versa. When there are differences a conference committee reconciles such variances before submission to the President for final approval.

Unlike you I did not sleep though civics class *phbbt*

Anonymous said...

Still trying to figure out "phbbbt"

??

Sen. Craig is allmost history. A tortured man whom I don't envy one bit. At leas tin DC< he gets Senatorial treatment. A gay man in denial will not fare well in Idaho.

Bake THAT potato.