President Clinton, along with Janet Reno, gathered law enforcement officials at the White House today to develop strategies to mobilize public support for the current hate crimes bill in order to press Republicans in Congress for a vote.
The Senate unanimously approved hate crimes prevention legislation last year, but the bill has stalled in the House. The bill would add sexual orientation, sex and disability to existing hate crimes covered under federal law, i.e. crimes motivated by race, religion, color or national origin.
The proposed hate crimes legislation would authorize federal prosecutors to pursue a hate-crime case if local authorities did not press charges.