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Reform Jewish Movement Praises House Passage of Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Pelavin: If the United States is to remain the world’s beacon of liberty, it must be clear that while all violence is reprehensible, violence motivated by bigotry is even more so.

Contact Sean Thibault or Matt Weinberg
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, May 3, 2007—In response to today’s House passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592), Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

“Today’s House passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592) is an important step in providing law enforcement officials the resources they need to combat hate in our communities. As Jews, we have long known the danger of hate and persecution. We also know, and take to heart, the commandment in Leviticus 19:17 that “You shall not hate another in your heart.” It is for these reasons that we continue to advocate for legislation that will help fight hatred, including that based on a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

This hate crimes bill is long overdue. Study after study confirms that gay, lesbian, transgender, and disabled Americans are increasingly targeted for attack and violence based solely on personal characteristics. If the United States is to remain the world’s beacon of liberty, it must be clear that while all violence is reprehensible, violence motivated by bigotry is even more so.

While we congratulate the House of Representatives for this vote, we remember that this bill has too often come close to becoming law. The responsibility is now on the Senate to swiftly pass, and the President to sign, this vital legislation.”

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more
than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership
includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis



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