Last week, when the House passed the Matthew Shepard Act in a bipartisan vote of 249 to 175, we moved one step closer to federal hate crimes protections.
With the active support of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, we have our best chance ever to secure enactment of this important legislation.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords voted "Yes", despite intense pressure from the radical right with their claims that the legislation is "pro-child molester" and makes "pedophiles a protected class." Voting "Yes" took courage.
During debate over the legislation, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sunk to a new low when she claimed on the House floor that the brutal hate crime that took Matthew Shepard's life was a "hoax." And she said it in front of Matthew's mother.
Matthew's mother Judy, a longtime champion of the legislation and an HRC board member, spoke out in the national media in response to Foxx's outrageous claim. See Judy on Rachel Maddow here.
Our lawmakers need to know that they have our full support when they stand up for equality, especially in the face of this kind of opposition. They need to know we're watching.
Thank-you messages mean a lot to legislators: they show that constituents are engaged, and they make lawmakers that much more responsive when we need their help again.
When you thank your representative you're not only helping us build momentum for the Matthew Shepard Act, you're laying the groundwork for the next fight.
Want to make even more of an impact? Make a quick call to Rep. Giffords's office at (202) 225-2542. Tell them you're calling to thank the representative for voting "Yes" on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.
The staffer will take down your name and thank you for calling, and you've done your good deed for the day!
Thank you for all your help!