Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Make hate a crime or live with hate crimes?

From: Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign <hrc@hrc.org>
Date: Jul 24, 2007 1:20 PM
Subject: You, times two
To: greensmile

Human Rights Campaign

All gifts matched until July 31!

Dear greensmile

When we launched our campaign to pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), just a few days before the hate crimes bill hit the Senate floor, I got a call from a friend – HRC board member Bruce Bastian – saying he wanted to help us raise the money to win this fight.

By the time we hung up, he had promised to match every online donation dollar-for-dollar until July 31, up to $100,000!

This incredible opportunity for HRC comes at a particularly critical time. Historic markers of GLBT equality – ENDA, hate crimes, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – are all in the political spotlight this year.

Help us take advantage of this remarkable offer, which means nothing without your support: $200,000 for HRC if we can rise to the challenge by July 31.

Double my donation to end discrimination in the workplace...Every form of hate degrades our nation.

As a business leader, and as someone committed to campaigning for justice, Bruce wants to help put an end to discrimination against GLBT workers. Just as importantly, though, he wants to challenge YOU, and every HRC supporter, to join together this month. It's crunch time – we expect action on hate crimes and ENDA in the early fall and we need to lay the groundwork now.

Right now, the radical right is deluging lawmakers with bald-faced lies about hate crimes and ENDA, but the momentum is with us. Take ENDA, for example. Nearly 90% of Fortune 500 companies already include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. They know workers should be judged on their performance; who they love is completely irrelevant.

Your donation will do twice as much to end discrimination.

In national politics, GLBT issues have taken center stage. On August 9th, on MTV's Logo channel, HRC Foundation is co-hosting a historic forum for presidential candidates focused exclusively on GLBT issues. And, as you know under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, for the first time ever, the hate crimes bill – a major piece of GLBT civil rights legislation – passed as a stand alone bill on the House floor May 3rd. Now, the hate crimes bill, also known in the Senate as the Matthew Shepard Act, is pending as an amendment to the Senate's Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization bill. While the DoD bill has been delayed until the fall, our Senate champions Senators Kennedy and Smith are committed to moving this crucial legislation. Additionally, we're likely to see congressional action on ENDA over the next couple months, and the long-overdue repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" has also become a national issue in the presidential debates and through HRC's Legacy of Service Tour.

It's time the government caught up with the business world, just like we hope it will catch up with the hundreds of groups that have endorsed the Matthew Shepard Act. With your support, we'll make sure lawmakers hear the truth above the din of the anti-gay groups.

Thank you, as always, for your commitment to this struggle.

Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

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freedom is not more important than fairness and much easier to fake.