Washington, DC, September 28, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws. The measure, part of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill, would enable the U.S. Department of Justice to assist local prosecutions and, where appropriate, investigate and prosecute cases in which bias crimes occurs because of the victim's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.
This important action by the House of Representatives puts a bipartisan majority firmly in support of enactment of this necessary legislation before Congress adjourns," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We will continue to help lead a coalition of law enforcement, civic, religious, and civil rights groups designed to assist federal and state authorities work more closely together in combating hate."
In a strong bipartisan vote in June, the Senate had added the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act as an amendment to the pending Department of Defense authorization bill. The House voted 213-186 to urge its Members working to reconcile differing versions of that legislation to retain the hate crime provisions.
Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have also passed hate crime statutes, many based on model legislation drafted by ADL. The League has been a pioneer in drafting and promoting tougher hate crimes laws across the country.