Bil Browning

Will hate crimes pass in time for the National Equality March?

Filed By Bil Browning | October 07, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Defense Appropriation bill, gay rights, hate crimes against LGBT people, LGBT rights, Matthew Shepard

It's looking more and more likely that Congress will pass hate crimes legislation just in time for the National Equality March this weekend. Last night, the House voted down a Republican measure to strip hate crimes language from the Defense Appropriations bill and passed the entire bill.

Next the bill goes to a conference committee where differences between the Senate and House versions get condensed into one final report. hatecrimes_repx390.jpgThe report is expected to be published this afternoon. The House is expected to finalize action tomorrow on the combined legislation and the Senate could pass the measure as early as Friday.

Obama's much ballyhooed speech at the HRC National Dinner would, no doubt, be a much larger success if he comes bearing a legislative victory in his hands. It will also help to turn the mood of the march from irritation that Obama hasn't done enough for LGBT rights into a celebration of the first piece of federal LGBT civil rights law.

If the administration can pull it off, it's brilliant public relations - not only does it give them a positive impression on participants and the entire LGBT voting base, but it also frames the story for the media in such a nice neat box that hardly journalists will step outside what the administration wants reported: "Obama Delivers LGBT Rights Law: Gays Celebrate."

What do you think? Will it pass by Sunday?


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Angela Brightfeather | October 7, 2009 3:16 PM

What do I think?

This is what I think Bil.

If they pull this off before this weekend, then I am now proclaiming and calling for another march on 11/14/09 and asking the LGBT community to gather and march for the immediate passage of ENDA.

How is that? If it takes a march on DC to get them moving, then lets start planning the next one right away.

By the way, I hear the Rev. Phelps is going to be protesting outside the HRC dinner on Saturday night. Is anyone bringing any rotten eggs or red paint to throw at that abomination while he is there? I have to hand it to him. He has some pretty huge you know whats, if he thinks he can get away with it this weekend and not get tarred, feathered and ridden out on a rail. May God be with him because he's going to need help from the National Guard. Oops, I forgot. He has already been to a few funerals of soldiers who were killed in Iraq, telling thir parents that they were going to hell.
Good luck Fred.

Don't look now, Angela, but I am told that there will be GLBT groups protesting outside the HRC dinner --- so Phelp's biggest problem might be that his group doesn't stand out enough to get much attention --- indeed, he might have plenty of competition.

And were I planning to be in DC, I might be one of said protesters. Obama will show up, blow some more "be patient" BS at us, and then too many of us will play sycophant and kiss the hem of his schmatte as he parades out the door.

I hope many in the audience will arm themselves with notecards containing the exact quotes of Martin Luther King Jr --- the ones where MLK said that black Americans should not be asked to wait for equality any longer. Well, Obama can make some elements of GLBT equality happen with the stroke of his pen, and he has promised to do so --- and thus, neither should GLBT Americans have to wait for equality.

P.S. As for Hate Crimes legislation by Sunday --- I'd rather bet my life on a snowball in Hell.

I don't think they will get their acts together to do this before Sunday. I hope I am wrong!! Oh and Angela, when I marched in the 1993 march in DC, Fred Phelps and his clan were there along the route with their hatred and signs. So he will be again.

With the super majority Democrats now enjoy in Congress, passing ENDA should be a slam dunk. BUT I doubt Obama will pressure anyone -- certainly no Blue Dogs -- to do a quick vote on a gay-rights bill when health care reform is still bogged down. For Obama, some campaign promises are more important than others, and LGBT equality is way down at the bottom of his to-do list.

Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't and that appears to be the sentiment with anything GLBT related that I read on these sites every day. Kind of sad actually.