It was little more than a Twitter Rumor earlier (or “tumor,” or “twumor” if you will), but it appears that the US Senate has voted to end discussion on (63-28) the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to federal hate crims states, to be attached to a Department of Defense authorization bill. There was unanimous consent to add it to a Department of Defense Authorization Bill as an amendment. The bill allows for a $1.75 billion program to fund the building of new F-22 jets, which Pres. Obama has opposed in the past.
“The President has long supported the hate crimes bill and gave his personal commitment to Judy Shepard that we will enact an inclusive bill,” said Shin Inouye [D-Hawai’i], referring to Shepard’s Oval Office visit with the president earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the President will have to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it includes wasteful spending for additional F-22s. The collective judgment of the Service Chiefs and Secretaries of the military departments is that the current program is sufficient to meet operational requirements. A Presidential veto would not indicate any change in President Obama’s commitment to seeing the hate crimes bill enacted.”
*sigh* Does this mean we have to go through this again next year? Perhaps. We’ll see.