With dramatic unanimity, the sacred scriptures of diverse religious traditions vehemently condemn hate; it is neither a religious nor an American value. These are among the reasons why Interfaith Alliance has been a staunch supporter of laws such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and of efforts to prevent such crimes from occurring in the first place.
At its most fundamental level, hate violence is an aggressive expression of prejudice against another person or group of people simply because of who they are, or who they are perceived to be. All crimes are not equal. We see this not only in how our legal framework metes out punishments based on the crimes committed, but in how we as individuals are affected by some crimes more or less than others. Any crime committed by one human being against another is a tragedy, but a crime that is motivated by hatred and prejudice tears apart the lives not only of the individuals who are targeted, but of the larger group they represent. Interfaith Alliance pressed for over 10 year for the passage of Hate Crimes laws that resulted in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.