Letters to the Editor

Looking back

It is timely to remember that U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and did so in lockstep with the vast majority of his party in 2009.

The law, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, expanded the 1969 hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

The bill also removed the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity, like voting or going to school, and thus this federal charge was available to charge Dylann Roof in the racially motivated Charleston, S.C., church murders in 2015.

Let us ask him today: Would you repeal this law if you had a Republican executive to support it?

Robert W. Smith, Bellefonte

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