Michigan Votes on Hate Crimes Bills May 20, 2009

Help Pass Michigan Hate Crimes Legislation!

Yesterday, we received word from our colleagues at the Triangle Foundation that the Michigan House Judiciary Committee passed the hate crime bills, HB 4835 and HB 4836 last week. This was thanks in no small part to organizations and individuals in Michigan that sent in letters of support on very short notice.

The bills were then referred to the House floor with a recommendation for a YES vote. We anticipate that the full House will vote on the bills TOMORROW, May 20th.

To learn more about Michigan�s Hate Crimes Legislation, click here.

Unfortunately, the committee passed the bills along straight partisan lines. While a straight party line vote in the full House will guarantee us a victory there as well, there is no reason that the bills should be partisan. It is likely this change of heart (NO Committee member opposed, and more than 50% of the Republicans in the House voted for identical language six months ago), was in large part the result of a national email campaign by our opposition who is committed to excluding �sexual orientation� from the legislation.

This is an issue of public safety. We hope that the Committee vote is not a signal that Republicans as a whole can be swayed by such a campaign, and that this effort will remain broadly bi-partisan when presented for a House vote tomorrow.

Now is the time we need you to take action. First, contact your State Representative and urge them to support the Michigan hate crimes legislation, HB 4835 and HB 4836. Then share this information as widely as possible. We must not let the hate-filled emails and phone calls legislators received go unanswered.

When contacting your Representatives, make sure to tell them that you support HB 4835 and HB 4836 and hope that they will support it as well. You might also add that you see this as a public safety issue that should not be permitted to fall prey to partisan bickering and one-upmanship. The important thing is that they hear from you!

Click here to contact your Representatives. There is no reason you can�t contact other Representatives. Many current Representatives have plans to seek higher office, particularly in the Senate, so contacting every Representative from your County (or the State), can be almost as important to them as if you were already a constituent.

Thanks for your support, together we can make this happen!

National Center For Lesbian Rights

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