Thursday, June 18, 2009

9to5 Supports Expansion of Federal Hate Crimes Law

9to5 has long supported the establishment and strengthening of federal and state hate crimes legislation as part of our commitment to combating discrimination. The organization is currently speaking out in support of a pending federal bill. See the letter below for more details.

June 15, 2009

Members of the United State Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the members and constituents of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, I urge you to support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S 909).

9to5 is a 35 year old national membership-based organization of low-income women working to improve policy on issues related to ending discrimination, strengthening the safety net, and creating good jobs with policies that promote family-flexibility. 9to5 has long supported hate crimes legislation to address acts of violence motivated by predudice and hate. We strongly support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The Matthew Shepard Act will expand existing federal hate crimes law to include protections for those targeted because of real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Further, it will remove overly burdensome obstacles to federal prosecution. The bill allows the federal government to assist local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, or to become involved when local law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to take appropriate action. The Attorney General or other high-ranking Justice Department officials would be required to approve all federal prosecutions, in order to avoid duplicating state efforts.

Acts of violence motivated by prejudice and hate are attacks not only on the individuals who are the victims of the specific criminal acts. Hate crimes represent acts of violence and intimidation against entire communities of people, based solely on who they are.

The time is now for Congress to expand and strengthen existing hate crimes law. Please support this vital legislation and sign on as a co-sponsor. Thank you for your consideration. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss this matter further.


Linda A. Meric
Executive Director

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