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Affirmation Press Release: Affirmation Celebrates Signing of Hate Crimes Act

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  • Gary Shephard UMAffEAdmin
    Affirmation Celebrates Signing of Hate Crimes Act For Immediate Release, Wednesday November 4, 2009 By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2009
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      Affirmation Celebrates Signing of Hate Crimes Act

      For Immediate Release, Wednesday November 4, 2009

      By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

      Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
      Queer Concerns, celebrates that President Obama has signed into law the
      Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. It's time
      that a nation that promises "liberty and justice for all" ensures justice
      for all people.

      No one chooses to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. And what
      of people who are perceived as LGBTQ and aren't? Are they not deserving of
      hate crimes protection as well? How about persons with different colored
      skin? We must have legal protection against people perpetrating hate crimes
      against anyone. Or persons of a different faith, or those from another
      country?

      The news about the attack on Matthew Shepard broke as the Affirmation
      Council gathered in Portland for the fall 1998 council meeting. That a
      likeable young man was tortured, pistol whipped, and left to die on a fence,
      cast a pall over the council gathering and over the entire country.

      Just as shocking was the death of James Byrd, Jr. on June 7, 1998. That in
      this day and age a human being could be chained to the back of a pickup
      truck and dragged until dead and dismembered is almost beyond comprehension.

      It's also shocking that the U. S. House and Senate have taken 11 years to
      pass this legislation and get it to the President's desk. One would think
      this legislation would have already been in place when these attacks took
      place. Or that it would have been in place shortly thereafter when the lack
      became apparent.

      It's been a long time since Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. died. It's
      time for us as a country to go on record that hate crimes against LGBTQ
      people or even those perceived as LGBTQ are wrong. It's time for us as a
      country to go on record that hate crimes against people of any racial,
      religious, or national group are wrong. We know that the law itself is not
      an end. It's just the beginning.



      -30-

      As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
      people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming
      gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church
      as we journey with the Spirit in creating God's beloved community.

      Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
      Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization
      with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

      How to Contact Us:

      email: Uumaffirmation_at_yahoo.com Affirmation

      web: http://www.umaffirm.org



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