Senate Adopts Unwelcome Amendments to the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

From an HRC press release:hrc-logo

The Senate adopted three amendments by voice vote. One amendment, SA 1615, adds the death penalty to the provisions of the Matthew Shepard Act. HRC strongly opposed this unwelcome amendment and hopes to address it as the Act continues through the legislative process. The Amendment was offered by and supported by Senators who oppose the Matthew Shepard Act in an effort to derail the Act. Fortunately, a side-by-side- amendment offered by Senator Kennedy was also added to the bill. The Kennedy amendment provides for additional restrictions in the use of the death penalty under the Act.

The third amendment requires the Attorney General to promulgate guidelines with “neutral and objective criteria for determining whether a crime was motivated by the status of the victim.”

A final Sessions amendment, SA 1616, was adopted by a vote of 92 to 0. This amendment creates a new federal criminal offense for cases involving assaults or battery of a U.S. service member – or a member of the service member’s immediate family.

Read the full press release here.

Please, tell your Senators…tell the old rich white men that run this country that you support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act and learn the truth about the legislation at

There is no reason for these people to be trying to kill such an important piece of legislation.  Fight the hate!  Please, stand up and have your voice heard before this plays out this week!


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