Senator Gordon Smith: Case for Hate Crime Law

From Senator Gordon Smith Press Release 11-20-2007:

Crime Data Demonstrates Need for Expanded Hate Crime Law

– Washington, D.C. – Crime data released recently by the FBI shows hate crimes continue to be a problem nationally and in Oregon, further reason for Congress to approve the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill. The percentage of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation rose to nearly sixteen percent across the country. One hundred and forty-one hate crimes were reported in Oregon. Twenty-five were crimes motivated by the victims’ sexual orientation.

“This is a problem that is not going away,” Smith said. “It is appalling that hate crimes continue to rise in a nation built on tolerance. We cannot be complacent in punishing these savage acts,” Smith said. “Congress needs to approve Matthew’s bill so there is protection in the law for every American in every community.”

Earlier this year, the Senate and the House approved The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as a provision in legislation that outlines spending for the Department of Defense. The U.S. House is set to vote on a reconciled version of this bill.

The FBI’s 2006 Hate Crime Statistics are available on at: