Friday, September 28, 2007

Week End Good News! Hate Crimes Prevention Bill Passes

Looking beyond the Episcopal Bishops, it was a good week for sexual rights.

The Bishops in Connecticut decided that Plan B (emergency contraception) can be distributed in Catholic hospitals (a day ahead of the law telling them it had to be offered.)

Verizon changed its policy decision about allowing NARAL, a pro-choice group, to use its text messaging system.

And most importantly, the Senate passed the Hate Crimes Bill by a large margin early today.

My colleague Harry Knox over at HRC sent out the following message:

The Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed today by a vote of 60 to 39 in the Senate, an excellent margin! This is a huge victory for the LGBT community and for people of faith who believe that no one ought to live in fear because of who they are.

I believe to the bottom of my soul that we got this far because of the work of the faith community. Senator Kennedy’s office seems to think so as well. We got a frantic e-mail from our legislative team last night to help find scriptural passages in support of Hate Crimes and on the Senate Floor today Kennedy brought up the clergy sign-on letter for Hate Crimes that many of you signed. He also quoted from the letter on the floor.

All the work leading up to this day from the Clergy Call for Justice and Equality in April, to the letters, and sermons, and post cards, and phone calls, and editorials, and even the informal conversations you had in the hallways made this day possible. We are grateful beyond words to be in the company of such fine people.

Me too...and all of you who are working for sexual justice on so many fronts. Celebrate yourselves this weekend.

3 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

"We got a frantic e-mail from our legislative team last night to help find scriptural passages in support of Hate Crimes"

You might want to rephrase that. . .

Not that there are not a fair number of scriptural passages that support what we call "Hate Crimes" (to say nothing of "War Crimes". . .) these days.

Robin Edgar said...

Come to think of it. . .

You might want to rephrase this too -

"the clergy sign-on letter for Hate Crimes that many of you signed."

Byron said...

This is good news because, as I was having a conversation with my son today, we have to have good people willing to make difficult political decisions because the decisions involve reason and social value. Being stuck in the "knee-jerk" mode plays deep into the hands of those who would have a few control the many.