Good news emerged from Congress last Thursday when the House approved a bill to expand hate crimes protections to cover sexual orientation. The hate crimes bill is attached to a defense policy bill which easily passed the House in a vote of 281 to 146. Its now headed off to the Senate where a vote could happen this week. Although Congress has come close to passing an expanding hate crimes bill in the past, the legislation died under threat of veto from former President Bush. Hopefully, with a new president, who has repeatedly expressed his support for this bill, we can look forward to the legislation being signed into law.
Want to learn more about the hate crimes bill? Take a listen back to Welton’s conversation with Representative Tammy Baldwin, a chief proponent of the legislation. Baldwin dispels the claims by the Religious Right that hate crimes legislation will stifle free speech in the pulpit.