New Hate Crimes Bill May Help D.C. Gay Marriage Law | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

New Hate Crimes Bill May Help D.C. Gay Marriage Law

Play associated audio

Some local activists are reacting to the passage of a U.S. Senate bill extending hate crime protections to include victims targeted for their sexual orientation or gender identity. They say the legislation signals a shift in political momentum within the District.

Sean Bugg is the co-publisher of Metro Weekly, Washington's gay and lesbian weekly news magazine. When news got out the Senate passed the much-anticipated hate crimes bill, he joined a busy online community of gay activists and supporters who were spreading the word.

"Watching everyone's reaction through twitter and email and web sites, there's this sort of sense of relief that finally something is happening," he says.

D.C. already has hate crimes legislation in place, but Bugg says the new federal law provides an additional avenue for prosecution.

"It's like the keystone in a lot of ways and I think that's how some people are seeing it," he says. "This keystone's been moved and now everything else can start moving forward. It's like the gears of government are finally working in our favor."

But the measure has conservative groups worried. Tom McClusky is Vice President of the Family Research Council. He says passage of the bill makes his next local fight more difficult.

"Especially in the District of Columbia, it will embolden the DC City Council to go further and try to ram through what they're already trying to ram through - having the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages within the District," he says.

The House passed the same hate crimes bill earlier this month, and President Obama says he will sign the bill into law.

Mana Rabiee reports...

NPR

When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family Resists

The movie, one of five Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film this year, is about radical Islamists occupying the city in Mali. Remarkably, it's often on the verge of being a comedy.
NPR

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Multivitamins have gotten a bad rap. But studies suggest these dietary supplements may help plug the nutrition gaps resulting from our less-than-ideal eating habits.
NPR

Mitt Romney Won't Run For President In 2016

"I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee," Romney said in a statement to supporters, according to multiple news reports.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.