7 Geo. J. Gender & L. 171 (2006)
Straight Talk about Have Crime Bills: Anti-Gay, Anti-Transgender Bias Stalls Federal Hate Crimes Legislation

handle is hein.journals/grggenl7 and id is 181 raw text is: STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT HATE CRIMES BILLS:
ANTI-GAY, ANTI-TRANSGENDER BIAS STALLS FEDERAL
HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION
LARA ScHwARTz, ITHTi Toy ULIT AND DEBORAH MORGAN*
[L]et me state unequivocally that as much as we condemn all
crime, hate crime can be more sinister than non-hate crime. A
crime committed not just to harm an individual but out of motive
of sending a message of hatred to an entire community,
oftentimes a community defined on the basis of immutable traits,
is appropriately punished more harshly or in a different manner
than other crimes.
-Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).'
The [hate crimes] bill would undermine the settled moral
convictions of tens of millions of Americans.
-United States Senate Republican Policy Committee.2
INTRODUCTION
According to polls, Americans overwhelmingly support laws protecting gay,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people, regardless of their feelings
about issues such as marriage, equality, relationship recognition, or non-
discrimination in the workplace.3 Most people fundamentally comprehend that
* Lara Schwartz is chief legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign. She holds a J.D. from
Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Brown University. Deborah Morgan is a J.D. candidate at American
University Washington College of Law. And Ithti Toy Ulit is a M.S. candidate at Johns Hopkins
University and holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. All institutional affiliations are for
identification purposes only.
1. S. REP. No. 107-147, at 25 (2002) (quoting the comments of Senator Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah).
2. United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, The Kennedy Hate Crimes Bill: an Unwise
Proposal (July 15, 2003), at 1, http://rpc.senate.gov/_files/CRIMEcr071503.pdf [hereinafter United
States Senate Republican Policy Committee].
3. Human Rights Campaign, Public Polling Shows Strong Support for the Local Law Enforcement
Enhancement Act, http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section =HateCrimes 1 &Template =/ContentMan-
agement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=- 13351 (reporting on the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll
released in November 2001, which showed that 73 percent of Americans support federal hate crime
legislation that includes sexual orientation.); see also Mubarak Dahir, People In The United States Have
A Surprising Understanding and Acceptance of Transgendered Lives, A Major New Survey Shows, THE
ADVOCATE, Oct. 15, 2002, http://www.tgcrossroads.org/news/archive.asp?aid=384 (explaining the
results of the Lake Snell Perry Associates, Inc. Poll, entitled Public Perceptions of Transgender People,
released by the Human Rights Campaign in 2002 and showing that sixty-eight percent of voters support
similar legislation to cover hate crimes against transgender people).

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