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House to vote on LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill today; President Obama urges passage

Pictures: Gabber Quote of the DayPretty much every day I feel thankful that Barack Obama is our president and that George W. Bush is not. Here’s a specific example of why: Today, the US House of Representatives is slated to vote on the LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes bill and the president has pledged his full support.

Bush, not surprisingly, had vetoed similar legislation.

If the bill passes the House and the Senate, it enable the U.S. Justice Department to investigate and, if need be, prosecute bias-motivated violence against a person based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Here is President Obama’s statement of support: “This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action.” reports that Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, expects the bill to pass the House without incident and then move to the Senate for a vote that he said will likely take place before the end of the year.

“We’re confident that we’ll make progress in the Senate as well,” Solmonese said. “We’re in conversations with Senator [Harry] Reid and other leaders in the Senate to try to determine the most expeditious way to move the bill and one that keeps that bill intact and gets it to the president’s desk.”

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