National Clergy Sign-on Letter
Hate Crime Legislation

The General Convention in 2000 passed resolutions C029, D009, and D068 in support of hate crimes legislation and condemnation of hate crimes.

Last year more than 300 Episcopal Clergy joined a National Clergy Sign-on Letter in support of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (Hate Crime Legislation.)

Below is a 2003 version; If you would like to join this effort, please add your name, house of worship, city and state. This form should be returned to John B. Johnson, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations:

U.S. MAIL TO:110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 309 Washington, D.C.20002
Send by e-mail, to
Fax TO 202.547.4457

Dear Senators and Representatives

We the undersigned religious leaders, from (#) faith traditions in (#)
states write you to urge swift passage of the Local Law Enforcement
Enhancement Act of 2003 (S.966), without any weakening amendments. At a time
when hate crimes are all too prevalent, political leaders must stand with
the religious community. We must make it clear that neither hate nor
violence is a traditional American value; both are antithetical to democracy
and true spirituality. Though legislation cannot remove hate from the hearts
and minds of individuals, hate crime legislation can help to create a
society that is unbending in its intolerance of hate-motivated violence.

As you know, current law permits federal prosecution of a hate crime only if
the crime was motivated by bias based on race, religion, national origin, or
ethnicity, and the assailant intended to prevent the victim from exercising
a "federally protected right." LLEEA would expand federal jurisdiction to
reach violent hate crimes committed "because of the actual or perceived
race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or
disability" of the victim.

The law would empower federal prosecutors to act in concert with local
police and provide funding to these officials to assist with investigations.
LLEEA will also help make up for the inadequacy and absence of inclusive
hate crime laws in many states and municipalities. To those who would oppose
this hate crime legislation in the name of religion, we state categorically;
everyone in this society should enjoy the strongest possible guarantee of
freedom from attacks motivated by bigotry. Bigotry cloaked in religion is
neither a moral right nor a religious value. The sacred scriptures of many
different religious traditions speak with dramatic unanimity on the subject
of intolerance. If we aspire to be true to the prophetic core of our
religions, we cannot condemn hate and then sit idly by while it destroys our
communities. We believe that religion and government must work together to
create a society in which diverse people are safe as well as free.

We urge you to support the enactment of the Local Law Enforcement
Enhancement Act.



RETURN to General Convention DIRECTORY --|

5/7/04 -j