Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

INTEGRITY MARKS HISTORIC HATE CRIME LEGISLATION WITH CALL TO PRAYER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 27, 2009

 

The White House announced President Obama will sign the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act on Wednesday, October 28th. To mark that historic act, Integrity calls members, friends and allies to join in a moment of virtual common prayer at 4:45 p.m. EDT--the time announced for the signing.

 

'For over thirty years, Integrity has been committed to both prayer and political action,' said Integrity President David Norgard. 'On Wednesday when President Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, we will give thanks for a major milestone even as we remember those we have lost due to hate crime violence.'

 

The Episcopal Church has been a long-time advocate for hate crime legislation, since at least 1988 when it passed resolution D055, entitled 'Condemn All Hate Crimes.' In 1998, then Integrity President Michael Hopkins attended the Wyoming funeral of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard. 'At Matthew\'s funeral, we experienced hate first hand in the protestors led by the Fred Phelps family. I am gratified now to have this legislation.”

 

For details -- including this prayer suggested for use to mark the signing -- visit Integrity\'s blog, 'Walking With Integrity'.

 

Loving God,

We pray for victims of hate crimes;

for those who have been targets of violence

just because of who they are;

for their families and all who grieve for them.

 

We give thanks for all those who have

labored, lobbied and prayed

for inclusive federal hate crimes legislation

and for the Hate Crime Prevention Act

signed into law today.

 

Bless us, we pray, with the knowledge

that we are secure in your love;

that we can make a difference;

that you call us always to seek and serve Christ in all persons

and to respect the dignity of every human being.

And may the peace the world cannot give

reign in our hearts always.

Amen

 

Some history on resolutions passed by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church on hate crimes:

 

Resolution Number: 1988-D055

Title: Condemn All Hate Crimes

  

 Resolution Number: 1988-D100

Title: Decry Violence Against Homosexuals

 

Resolution Number: 2000-D009

Title: Condemn All Hate Crimes

 

Resolution Number: 2000-C029

Title: Urge Congress to Enact Hate Crimes Legislation

 

Also this 2002 report on Episcopal support for the legislation.

 

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For further information contact:

Louise Brooks, Communication Director

Integrity USA -- 626.993.4605

lebrooks@earthlink.net