Via Washington Blade:
Senate leaders nix hate crimes measure
Was attached to defense spending bill
By KEVIN NAFF | Dec 6, 11:48 AM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) Thursday morning acquiesced to demands by House Democratic leaders to drop a gay and transgender inclusive hate crimes bill from the National Defense Authorization Act, a knowledgeable Capitol Hill source said.
The decision kills the hate crimes bill for this year, but House Democrats, led by gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), are calling on the Senate to pass a freestanding hate crimes bill as early as February.
Senate Democrats had hoped to pass the DOD authorization bill with the hate crimes measure in tact, saying it was the best strategy for discouraging President Bush from vetoing the hate crimes measure, which Bush opposes.
Anyone know what's up with the House Democrats asking for the severance? (In other words, was this an anti-war strategy, or do I really seriously need to go hide under a rock in Canada now?)
Also (cue cynicism) - I wonder whether gay Rep. Barney Frank is going to use this failure as an excuse to ditch trans people in the next version of the bill?