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house Bill H.R. 442

Should The LGBTQ Community Have Better Protections Under The Federal Definition Of Hate Crimes?

Argument in favor

LGBTQ people are far more likely than any other minority group in the U.S. to be victimized by hate crimes — they need protection under the law.

Jennifer's Opinion
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02/21/2015
In a country where you can legally be fired for your gender identity or sexuality we need more protection for lgbt people.
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06/09/2015
Considering this is no longer 1915 or 1815 I think it is high time our elected officials fulfilled the words of the constitution and let everyone pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
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Evercraft's Opinion
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04/29/2015
While in 50 years, expanding protections to LGBT people will likely sound redundant, the nation is deeply resistant to any minority group gaining equal rights.
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Argument opposed

A hate crime is a serious allegation. The current definition ensures that the crimes that are prosecuting have a serious impact on society too.

Hilemarka's Opinion
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02/11/2015
The Rule of Law applies to all citizens and there should not be "special" groups that get special treatment under the law.
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Gator's Opinion
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06/13/2016
Murder is a hate crime no matter who the victim is. What we need to do is empower all Americans (gay or otherwise) to exercise their 2ND amendment rights and defend themselves against the enemy that's at war with them and already in our country. It's time for the left to get their collective heads out of their asses.
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Lance's Opinion
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06/10/2015
No group should be held above another under the law, and LGBTQ's should be no exception.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 21st, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 442?

This bill seeks to do a better job of including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in the protections granted by federal hate crime laws. 


H.R. 442 aims to do so by removing a current requirement that defines hate crimes as acts that:

• involve interstate travel on the part of the perpetrator or the defendant;

• involve a weapon;

• interfere with interstate commerce.


In this context, hate crimes are acts (violent and otherwise discriminatory) leveraged against a person for their religion, disability, gender or sexuality — and this bill hopes to acknowledge that hate crimes can happen, even if they don't affect interstate commerce. 

Impact

People in the LGBTQ community, law enforcement officials, the court and criminal justice systems, violent bigots and others who commit hate crimes.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 442

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

This bill comes in the wake of a high-profile assault on two gay men in central Philadelphia in September 2014 — an area that is part of Sponsoring Rep. Robert Brady’s (D-PA) home district. The incident also prompted action from Philadelphia’s city council.


In Depth: 

This bill amends part of Title 18 of U.S. Code — better known as The Civil Rights Act of 1964. The section that it amends, 249, does not make the same kinds of requirements  based on “race on color.”


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) Press Release



(Photo Credit: Flickr user Jeanne Menjoulet&Cie

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to extend the coverage of the Federal prohibition against hate crimes in order to provide greater protections to persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

    In a country where you can legally be fired for your gender identity or sexuality we need more protection for lgbt people.
    Like (533)
    Follow
    Share
    The Rule of Law applies to all citizens and there should not be "special" groups that get special treatment under the law.
    Like (395)
    Follow
    Share
    Considering this is no longer 1915 or 1815 I think it is high time our elected officials fulfilled the words of the constitution and let everyone pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
    Like (188)
    Follow
    Share
    Murder is a hate crime no matter who the victim is. What we need to do is empower all Americans (gay or otherwise) to exercise their 2ND amendment rights and defend themselves against the enemy that's at war with them and already in our country. It's time for the left to get their collective heads out of their asses.
    Like (168)
    Follow
    Share
    No group should be held above another under the law, and LGBTQ's should be no exception.
    Like (157)
    Follow
    Share
    While in 50 years, expanding protections to LGBT people will likely sound redundant, the nation is deeply resistant to any minority group gaining equal rights.
    Like (121)
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    If all people were simply treated equally we would'nt need any special protections. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
    Like (105)
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    All crimes are based on hate. The idea that some victims are more precious than others is discriminatory, and such legislation is politically motivated.
    Like (68)
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    Classifying certain crimes as "hate crimes" is fraught with the possibility of abuse. In the absence of CLEAR, INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE AS TO MOTIVE, upon what are you going to base a charge of "hate crime"? Mind reading? If you base the charge on speech, that's pretty shaky ground, considering the First Amendment. Contrary to Obama's beliefs or wishes, the First Amendment has NOT been nullified by U.N. Resolution 16/18. To criminalize our speech that someone else might find offensive is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! As another Countable member stated, it is an Orwellian perversion of justice. We already have enough laws covering every kind of crime imaginable that's committed against another person or group of people! Crime is crime, regardless of the motive!
    Like (56)
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    This is a no-brainer! Of course they should have the full protection of the law. That's what equality under the law is all about, and what rule of law is all about. And to the bigots out there, this is not about special treatment, this is about having basic protections that many of the states have irresponsibly avoided extending and in many cases were actively supporting efforts to deny people their basic rights. It's common knowledge that a lot of times, states can't be trusted to ensure rule of law, and I think Jim Crow is a shining example as to why this needs Federal oversight.
    Like (45)
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    Yes. Violence against LGBTQ+ people is not random or unplanned. The queer community is continually targeted BECAUSE of the identities of its members. Crimes against the queer community are motivated solely by animus and should be treated as such. What happened in Orlando was a hate crime. Let's stop pretending.
    Like (36)
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    To commit a hate crime, you are already committing a crime. Charge the offender with the crime they commit and get rid of hate crimes all together. I'm gay, and if someone were to say, assault me because I am gay, they should be charged with assault, not a hate crime just because I am gay.
    Like (26)
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    This was not necessarily a LGBTQ issue. This type of mass shooting could have happened in a church. This was a terrorist act and should be treated as such.
    Like (18)
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    Equal protection for all groups. No one group is more vulnerable than another. We must promote rule of law here.
    Like (17)
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    There should be no such thing as "Hate" crimes. A crime is a crime regardless of who it is committed against. As much as the government wants to legislate and control everything else, you can't force people not to "hate". Punish this crime per the law just like you would any other.
    Like (14)
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    Clearer definitions of hate crimes on the books protects everyone, not just the LGBTQ community. Allows legal precedent to be set in cases that will help people of other communities also vulnerable to hate crimes in the future. A hate crime is not defined as a crime against a person in a particular group, it's *because* that person is part of a particular group, irrelevant of the person's individual identity.
    Like (11)
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    If we stop all the public discussion, opinions and rhetoric and leave everyone to their own life styles as long as no one gets injured, maybe everyone could live happily. Too much talk stirs the pot.
    Like (11)
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    My loved ones deserve to live their lives without fear.
    Like (10)
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    LGBT citizens should be a protected class.
    Like (10)
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    I believe that by removing the interstate commerce clause you make it illegal for the federal government to interfere legally under current law. I would like better protections but I think this bill should be revised to keep interstate connection but add specific protections like bathroom policies.
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