[Congressional Record Volume 151, Number 20 (Monday, February 28, 2005)]
[Page S1792]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. SMITH. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about the need for 
hate crimes legislation. Each Congress, Senator Kennedy and I introduce 
hate crimes legislation that would add new categories to current hate 
crimes law, sending a signal that violence of any kind is unacceptable 
in our society. Likewise, each Congress I have come to the floor to 
highlight a separate hate crime that has occurred in our country.
  In December of 2004, a gay man was attacked outside of his Kansas 
City home by two unknown assailants. Floyd Elliot reported to 
authorities that two men held him down, cut him with a knife, and used 
the knife to burn letters into his skin. It looks as if the assailants 
were attempting to ``brand'' a homosexual slur onto the victim's chest. 
The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
  I believe that the Government's first duty is to defend its citizens, 
to defend them against the harms that come out of hate. The Local Law 
Enforcement Enhancement Act is a symbol that can become substance. I 
believe that by passing this legislation and changing current law, we 
can change hearts and minds as well.