Friday, July 17, 2009

Hate crimes legislation passes and before Stonewall

Two items this morning:

The Senate voted to pass The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

However let's not celebrate just yet:

Though the amendment garnered three votes more than necessary to reach cloture, the fate of the hate crimes measure is now partially linked to $1.75 billion in funding for F-22 fighter jets that is also included in the DOD legislation.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates both oppose the F-22 program and a White House spokesperson said the president will not sign a DOD bill that continues to fund the program.

"The President has long supported the hate crimes bill and gave his personal commitment to Judy Shepard that we will enact an inclusive bill,” said Shin Inouye, referring to Shepard’s Oval Office visit with the president earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the President will have to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it includes wasteful spending for additional F-22s. The collective judgment of the Service Chiefs and Secretaries of the military departments is that the current program is sufficient to meet operational requirements. A Presidential veto would not indicate any change in President Obama’s commitment to seeing the hate crimes bill enacted."

Senators Carl Levin and John McCain have offered a bi-partisan amendment to remove the F-22 funding that is scheduled for a vote Monday, but insiders say the count is unclear.

If the amendment fails and President Obama vetoes the bill, it will be sent back to the Senate for a rewrite. A Democratic Senate aide said Senator Reid was optimistic, nonetheless, that hate crimes would ultimately make the final version of DOD authorization.

I'm not pouring any champagne until THAT bill is on President Obama's desk signed, sealed, and delivered. Until then, there is still work to do.

Also, I found something very interesting on youtube that demonstrates just how ridiculous it is to have this diversionary argument between the black and gay communities.

While the two groups fight for position, we are missing out on a good historical perspective:

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