Friday
February 3, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 05
 
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Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

 

 



Several people wounded at Mass. Gay bar after hate-motivated shooting incident
Several people wounded at Mass. Gay bar after hate-motivated shooting incident
"When a man walks into a bar, asks if it's a Gay bar and starts shooting, there couldn't be any more glaringly obvious and enraging of an example that we need uniform hate crimes law and that Congress is stubbornly failing to act," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

According to reports, a man walked into a lounge in New Bedford, Mass., [on Wednesday morning] asking if it was a Gay bar. He then brandished a hatchet, swinging it at victims, and later drew a gun, opening fire and wounding several people. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement in the wake of a violent anti-Gay hate crime in Massachusetts Wednesday evening.

"When a man walks into a bar, asks if it's a Gay bar and starts shooting, there couldn't be any more glaringly obvious and enraging example that we need uniform hate crimes law and that Congress has stubbornly failed to act," said Solmonese. "The Senate can change this today. Whether the hate crime occurs in New Bedford, Massachusetts, or Roanoke, Virginia, local law enforcement deserve access to the same tools. The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act would do this.

"I am infuriated and deeply saddened. Our hearts are with the families and friends of those wounded in this tragic hate crime," added Solmonese. "This harrowing crime is a sobering and shocking reminder of the way anti-Gay prejudice manifests to violence and that we need to deal with this as a country.

"We are thankful that the local authorities are investigating this as a hate crime. We stand by Congressional allies who have been working for years to pass a measure giving critical tools to police officers and district attorneys working for justice in the wake of horrifying hate crimes. The Senate should do what the House has already done and pass the hate crimes law."

In the course of prosecuting the killers in the anti-Gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyo., in which Matthew Shepard was murdered, local law enforcement was forced to furlough several officers due to scarcity of resources. The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, already passed by the House in the fall and by the Senate in years past, would give grants to local law enforcement to fully prosecute these crimes. Senate leadership is stalling a vote on the bill.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.



An HRC press release

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