Have the Democrats Killed the Hate Crimes Bill?:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)Thursday morning acquiesced to demands by House Democratic leaders to drop a gay and transgender inclusive hate crimes bill from the National Defense Authorization Act, a knowledgeable Capitol Hill source said.
The decision kills the hate crimes bill for this year, but House Democrats, led by gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), are calling on the Senate to pass a freestanding hate crimes bill as early as February.
Senate Democrats had hoped to pass the DOD authorization bill with the hate crimes measure in tact, saying it was the best strategy for discouraging President Bush from vetoing the hate crimes measure, which Bush opposes.
This is another example of the Democratic majority caving in to the demands of the Republican minority. Your would think that the Republicans still ran Congress.
We know that the majority of Republicans in Congress oppose any kind of legislation that can be seen as LGBT so it isn't surprising that they opposed the hate crimes bill. The Democrats, on the other hand, have long received the majority of LGBT votes and campaign contributions, but have failed to pass meaningful LGBT civil rights legislation.
Some LGBT advocacy also have to share in the defeat this bill. The nearly 400 groups that came together under the United ENDA banner failed to speak out in support of the hate crimes even though it includes both sexual orientation and gender identity. United ENDA banded together to oppose a sexual orientation ENDA, but was absolutely silent when it became apparent that the hate crimes bill was in danger.