Mayor Article

Congress Drops Hate Crimes Provision

By Ed Somers

The conference committee version of the Commerce-Justice-State-Judiciary FY 2000 appropriations bill (HR 2670) does not contain hate crime provisions which were originally included in the Senateís bill.

The Senate provisions would have authorized federal prosecutions of persons accused of violent crimes motivate by the victimís sexual orientation, gender or disability. Currently, only race or religion trigger a federal intervention. The provisions would have also broadened the circumstances under which federal prosecutors could get involved in cases, and provided grants to combat hate crimes.

President Clinton cited the omission of the hate crimes proposals as one of his reasons for vetoing the bill.

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