Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what hate crimes and the promotion of tourism into the United States have to do with each other. However, as is being reported via an “unnamed source” by way of the Washington Blade, Americablog and Pam’s House Blend, The United States Senate has, apparently, deemed adding the current Hate Crimes Bill (which passed the House as H.R. 1913) as an Amendment to S. 1023, also known as the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, proper.
The purpose of S. 1023 is “to establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States entry policies and otherwise promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States.”
But this is, apparently, the bill which will get sexual orientation and gender identity included into existing federal hate crimes legislation – have gays, will travel.
As a very vocal advocate of Hate Crimes Legislation, I’ll be thrilled should the bill pass in any form; however, as Pam Spaulding wrote at Pam’s House Blend:
Sorry, folks, we’ll be elated to see the federal hate crimes bill succeed (and for the fundies to take a temporary bath), but there’s no way to mitigate the hate brief’s [Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss] damage to LGBT rights.
Well Pam, I think our knight in a shinning civil rights façade can mitigate the damages caused by the hate brief by: (1) withdrawing the Motion to Dismiss (which does not require legislative authority); (2) repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [DADT] or at least halting investigations and dismissals as a result of DADT (again without legislative authority); and (3) at minimal, proposing legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]. Then maybe (just maybe) I’ll hammer the dents out of my Obama button, pull my Advocate Magazine with him on the cover out of the trash and say, “Damn, I was wrong, this man actually does have a little integrity.” Now, if we add an Employer Non-Discrimination Act to that mix, I may just have to eat crow and give my first scientifically developed, genetically enhanced, super-brain child to Obama in retribution.