KENNEDY BILL PROTECTING RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS PASSES HOUSE
Washington, D.C. – As hate crimes motivated by religion continue to rise in the United States, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today applauded the bipartisan passage of the Combating Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. Led by Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA), the legislation was introduced in response to more than 100 bomb threats and other threats of violence that had been made against 81 Jewish Community Centers earlier this year.
“A nation free of bigotry and hatred must celebrate our diversity and fiercely defend worshipers against targeted threats intended to instill fear and doubt,” said Kennedy. “With the passage of this legislation today, my colleagues from every corner of the country have sent a clear message that anti-Semitism and religious intolerance have no place in our United States."
According to a recently released FBI report, Massachusetts had the highest rate of reported hate crimes in the country in 2016. The Combating Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 would increase the federal penalty for bomb threats and other credible threats of violence against community religious centers and ensure these acts can be prosecuted as a hate crime.
# # #