THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS HATE CRIME PREVENTION LAWS Washington, DC--Addressing the Anti-Defamation League, Vice
President Gore called on Congress today to pass anti-hate crime legislation. Currently, Congress has several hate crime bills pending that extend coverage to crimes motivated by the sexual orientation, gender or disability of the victim, and authorize additional funding for prevention programs specifically targeted at hate crimes committed by juveniles.
"Hate crimes hurt the heart of America -- the faith that we are one people, with common values and a higher vision." Vice President Gore said. "Hate crimes are acts of violence -- not just against a person, not just against individuals, but against our ideals. It is long past time for a national law to punish hate crimes and prevent them, once and for all. "
Vice President Gore used his address to the Conference's 450 participants to discuss his broader commitment to justice and tolerance, with a special focus on hate crime issues. In 1998, the last year for which we have statistics, over 7,700 hate crimes incidents were reported in our nation -- almost one an hour.
In addition to calling for an end to hate crimes in America, Vice President Gore saluted the ADL for building new bridges of understanding and trust. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is one of the nation's foremost voices against anti-Semitism, hatred, prejudice and bigotry.