Fwd: Hate Crimes Vote Thurs - CALLS NEEDED
from www.hrc.org :Take Action Now to Pass Hate Crimes Bill!Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a key hate crimes bill. The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would extend the ability of law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity.But in order for this bill to pass, your member of Congress needs to hear from you! Find your representative and call the Capitol switchboard at 202/224-3121. Ask to be connected to your member of Congress and urge him or her to vote for the hate crimes bill.The radical right is doing everything in its power to stop this bill from passing. Watch our video response to these anti-gay extremists.Message from Joe Solomonese, Human Rights Campaign
Sent: Tue, 1 May 2007 7:56 PM
Subject: FW: THURSDAY
Greetings, I'm forwarding you a message from our legislative director, Allison - the vote on hate crimes will be Thursday, and she's got some disturbing news. Apparently legislators are being so heavily bombarded with calls and emails from the radical right that some are getting very nervous about voting for the bill. Knowing how close we are, that's not good. EVEN IF YOU'VE ALREADY CALLED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE about this bill, and even if they've said they'll vote for it, we need you to pick up the phone RIGHT NOW and remind them of your support.
>> To find out where to call and what to say, go to:http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/ct/hpwWOF71ezTA/ Thank you so much, Joe Solmonese -----Original Message-----
>From: Allison Herwitt >To: Joe Solmonese >Subject: Thursday > >I got my hands on the latest House vote schedule. The vote onhate crimes is going to be Thursday.
> >I also just returned from talking to two key democraticleadership staffers, who asked us to kick up the grassroots support. They are talking to Members of Congress and senior staff who are reporting that they are getting flooded by the other side's emails and phone calls. This has some key freshman Members very nervous. Others are still on the fence.
> >We have to fill up the phone lines - could we go back to theemail supporters ASAP?
> > >Allison > >Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
A message from Dr Sylvia Rhue :
Attached is my response to Bishop Jackson and Marvin Winans. Congress is getting an avalanche of emails against the passage of the hate crimes bill. Please call your congressperson to support it.Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D.
Director of Religious Affairs and Constituency Development
National Black Justice Coalition
1725 I Street NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
202-319-1552From Isaiah Poole :
Sent: Wed, 2 May 2007 12:13 AM
I want to share with you a letter I am sending to Rev. Marvin L. Winans, pastor of Perfecting Church in Detroit. Satuday's Washington Post reported that Rev. Winans was among a group of African-American pastors who are lobbying against a federal hate crimes bill that would include crimes based on sexual orientation in the list of crimes eligible for hate-crime designation. I do not know what the impact of this letter will be, but I do know the impact of my silence. So I have chosen to speak up. I hope this encourages you to continue to do the same in the face of those who stand in opposition to tolerance, love and reason.Rev. Marvin L. WinansPerfecting Church7616 E Nevada StreetDetroit, MI 48234Dear Rev. Winans:Recently you came to Washington to lobby against federal legislation that would allow violence against individuals because of their sexual orientation to be labeled a hate crime.I wonder what you would say to Denise Sandy, the mother of Michael Sandy.Michael was a 29-year-old black man living in New York City when he was assaulted and killed by three young men last October. When prosecutors interviewed one of the three assailants in April, one of them said that that they beat Michael to death because they thought gay men were "easy to rob."You believe that homosexuality is a sin so grave that this nation is at risk of being destroyed by it. So would you say to Mrs. Sandy that the death of her son is just an unfortunate consequence of his being a homosexual? Do you tell her that the youths responsible for Michael's death did not commit that serious a crime because Michael was a homosexual? That it would have been different if the youths had said "we thought niggers were easy to rob"? That, at the end of the day, the nation is a much better place because there is one less homosexual to place it in spiritual jeopardy, even if it took a violent death to make that happen?I write you as a fellow Christian. I do not want the government to dictate the theological content of your sermons, even if I profoundly disagree with that content. But I pray that you will come to see how wrong it is for Christians to ask government to value some lives and devalue others because some of us—even most of us—consider some defining characteristic of their lives "sinful." There is an honest intellectual debate to be had over the propriety of hate crime laws. But once we say that the killers of a James Byrd should face an added penalty for their racially motivated crime, can we not say the same for the hate-motivated murderer of a Matthew Shepherd, a gay man? Is the life of a straight man more valuable than that of a gay man? If you believe the answer is yes, then perhaps I am wrong about us being fellow Christians.People believed to be gay or lesbian are the victims in roughly one in seven reported hate crimes committed in this country, according to Justice Department statistics. I hope you will reconsider your position on federal hate crime legislation and take an unequivocal stand opposing violence targeted against gay and lesbian people.Sincerely,Isaiah J. Poole
Conservative Black Pastors Jump on the Homophobic Bandwagon...Again www.jasmynecannick.comNow mind you this is the from the press conference that was scheduled for the day after the Virginia Tech shootings that was cancelled and then put back into motion.
Several Black pastors last week lobbied House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), a sponsor of the bill, and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the proposed Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act .According to the Washington Post , the NAACP is supporting the bill. Hallelujah!
Now for some reason, these Black pastors are under the impression that this bill would make their "you're going to hell" sermons illegal.According to an Exodus International (the ex-gay Christian group) press release, "H.R. 1592 mandates unequal protection under the law and will pave the way for the criminalization of thoughts and religious beliefs contrary to politically correct ideology."In other words, they're afraid that if H.R. 1592 passes they won't be able to think about killing gays and preach it from the pulpit lest they be arrested and brought up on charges.Yeah, tell that to the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of hate crimes. Tell that to the families of Rashawn Brazell and Michael Sandy.Funny, when I read the bill and I didn't take that from it. What I got from it was that the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the department with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.Seems like a far stretch from what this group is trying to make America believe.It is a fact that we are targeted just as much for being Black as we are for being gay.Hello…Michael Sandy?My first thought is because aside from Conservative whites, Black pastors are the only other people notorious for preaching hate against gays from the pulpit.The misguided Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., pastor of Hope Christian Church in Lanham and founder of the High Impact Leader Coalition is quoted in the Washington Post saying, "This bill will offer a status for gays, lesbians and transgender people under the equal protection status that can muzzle the black church. This law can be applied in the way that can keep the church from preaching the Gospel."Some of these pastors wouldn't know the "Gospel" if their own choir were singing it.Using the Bible to justify calling for the murder and or execution of gays is wrong. Just like it was wrong when the white slave owner used the same Bible to justify the murder and or execution of his Black slaves.Also quoted in the same article was the Rev. Marvin Winans, a Detroit pastor and member of the Grammy Award-winning Winans family, who met with Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday to lobby against the bill. "This is a specific bill, no matter how well intended, that will hurt America."So who put the pastors up to it and paid for their flights to Washington D.C.? Well the Washington Post article lists the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Family Research Council and Exodus International, as being among the groups opposing the bill. Seems kind of suspicious to me.
We don't all have to agree but we ought not to be working against each other and letting outsiders come into our community and split us up.When someone kills someone for being Black, female, gay, or for any bias, it's wrong and all lives should be treated fairly, not just the heterosexual or presumed heterosexual lives.Tell me where it says in the Bible that it's okay to kill someone for being gay and I'll show you someone who's making up his or own version of the Bible to suit his or her own beliefs and collection plates.I wish these same Black pastors could meet and speak with the parents of Black gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people whose lives were taken prematurely from them because they were gay. I want to know how Bishop Jackson and his posse would explain their feelings about hate crimes against gay people to the grieving families. My guess is they wouldn't.And so I must ask, does the Senator from Illinois still wish to remain silent n issues that are headed on crash course with his campaign? Sooner or later, he's going to have to talk about where he stands today on gays and lesbians, and I for one want to know.