THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT GORE ON THE HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT
This past year, our nation witnessed a number of heinous and cowardly hate crimes. These shameful acts of violence -- like the vicious murders of James Byrd and Matthew Shepard, and most recently the death of Billy Jack Gaither in Alabama -- were attacks not only on individuals, but against America and our shared values.
We must send a clear and strong message to all who would commit crimes of hate: it is wrong, it is illegal, and we will catch you and punish you to the full force of our laws.
That is why I am very pleased that Senators Kennedy and Spector and Representatives Gephardt, Conyers, Morella and others are reintroducing the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This legislation would remove needless jurisdictional requirements and give the Department of Justice the power to prosecute hate crimes committed for any reason.
I urge members of Congress to come together in one voice on this issue. I urge them stand together against intolerance, against prejudice, and against violent and senseless bigotry and pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.