Thursday, July 06, 2017


Photo from CT Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEAJF) Facebook page
(L to R) Kamora, Director, True Colors mentoring program; Diana, Executive Director, Transadvocacy Coalition; U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal; Steven, Executive Director, CT Commission on Women, Children and Senior; Tony, Transgender youth advocate; Sarah, CT State Child Advocate
Yesterday I took part in a press conference about the three suicides of LGBT students here in Connecticut and one of the speakers was Senator Blumenthal. During his speech he mentioned a bill that he proposed the NO HATE Act which raised my curiosity so I looked it up because I first thought he said the bill would fund suicide hotlines but I misheard.

To provide incentives for hate crime reporting, grants for State-run hate crime hotlines, a Federal private right of action for victims of hate crimes, and additional penalties for individuals convicted under the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
It funds hotlines to report hate crimes and not suicide hotlines. Which is still good but it would be nice if it also suicide prevention hotlines.

 The bill according to Senator's website also covers,
…would strengthen governmental responses to hate crimes on the federal and state levels by improving reporting, creating a hate crimes hotline, strengthening education and community service requirements for perpetrators, and making it easier for victims to seek justice in the courts.
Right now according to Sen. Blumenthal prosecutors and judges are not using the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention law because of the harsh penalties for minor crimes so the new bill allows for community services and education in hopes that the prosecutors will use the law more for harassments and non-violent hate crimes.

The bill also including more training for law enforcement offices on hate crimes and making it easier for the victim to sue in civil court.

The co-sponsors of the bill are,
Cosponsors of Sen. Blumenthal’s bill (S. 662) include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

In the House, cosponsors of Rep. Beyer’s bill (H.R. 1566) include Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), William Keating (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), and Bobby Rush (D-IL).
It sure would be nice if some Republicans also sponsor the bill.

 Photo from CT Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEAJF) Facebook page

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