“The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the FBI opened an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws. The Community Relations Service will be in Sanford, Fla., this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders, and local law enforcement to address tension in the community.”
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has been responsible for the implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which allows for increased federal involvement in state and local criminal investigations and allows for federal prosecution of hate crimes under certain circumstances.
Just received from the D.C.-based AARP:
As you may or may not have heard, tennis legend, LGBT activist and AARP’s Fitness Ambassador Martina Navratilova will be competing on the new season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which kicks off this Monday, March 19th.
WE NEED YOUR HELP IN GETTING THE WORD OUT TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY so folks know to tune in and watch! If you can post an item on your website about this, email your followers, and/or post on your social media sites, she’d greatly appreciate the support! (You can follow her on Twitter @Martina) I’m happy to help get you a photo to use along with this and possibly get her to answer one or two questions for you.
Information about how to vote will be given throughout the show so make sure your audience knows to tune in! Let’s get behind Martina and her partner Tony Dovolani!!!
Despite the refusal of the White House to comment for months on whether the president supports a federal nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation or gender identity for federal contractors, then-Sen. Barack Obama told the Houston GLBT Political Caucus more than four years ago that he would support such a policy as president, Metro Weekly has learned.
Obama, as a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president in 2008, was asked by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus if he would support a “formal written policy of non-discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression … for all Federal contractors.”
Obama’s response – according to the survey, a copy of which was provided exclusively to Metro Weekly on condition of anonymity – was one word: “Yes.”
READ Metro Weekly’s exclusive report from senior political editor Chris Geidner.
[UPDATE: Organizers of the planned March 3 service for Frank Kameny announced today, March 2, that the service is “on hold in deference to the estate of Dr. Kameny.” Inquiries were directed to the law offices of Ackerman Brown PLLC. Glen H. Ackerman, managing partner at the firm, who represents Kameny’s heir, Timothy Clark, had no immediate comment. Ackerman says a statement will be forthcoming.]