Today is the lobbying day with the HRC Clergy Call. We're spending the morning in lobbying training. As I sat down in the bench marked "Michigan," I introduced myself to a man standing in the aisle from South Carolina. He told me about his step-son, Sean William Kennedy. Sean was in his twenties when he was killed in an anti-gay hate crime. His murderer got a very short jail sentence, cut shorter because hr earned his GED.
Some people don't believe hate crime legislation is necessary, because it's already covered by other laws. I invite them to learn about Sean: http://www.seanslastwish.org. And another quick answer... This federal legislation kicks in when local law enforcement doesn't adequately prosecute, for example because of prejudice.