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J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael P. Farris, Esq.

“Hate Crimes” Included in Troop Funding Legislation

HSLDA Federal Relations Department

October 13, 2009

On Thursday, October 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a motion opposed by 131 Republicans and 15 Democrats to include “hate crimes” in the National Defense Authorization Act to fund the troops.

The motion directed the conference committee to add the social agenda of federal “hate crimes” laws unrelated to national defense to the bill that funds the U.S. armed forces.

Although the House of Representatives passed the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act” (H.R. 1913) on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 249–175, the Senate never took up the bill for a straight up-or-down vote. Instead the Senate voted on July 16, 2009 to add the Matthew Shepard Act (“hate crimes”) as an amendment to the Department of Defense reauthorization bill (63–28 vote). The amended Department of Defense bill then passed the Senate on July 23, 2009. The Senate then sent the amended version of the bill to the conference committee where members of the House and Senate reconcile differences and discrepancies in the bills passed by both houses of Congress. The House version of the bill did not include any “hate crimes” laws. But on Thursday the House voted 281–146 allow the bill to continue to the president’s desk with the “hate crimes” language from the Senate version of the bill intact.

 Other Resources

See how your U.S. representative voted on the motion to add “hate crimes” to trop funding legislation.

Congressman Randy Forbes introduced a motion to remove the “hate crimes” provision from the funding bill, but the motion was defeated. See this vote >>

You can read about the substance of "hate crimes" legislation on our website:

Amendment No. 1539: “Hate Crimes”

S. 909: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009