Maine Senators Cosponsor Genocide Resolution

SUPPORT FOR S.RES.164 REACHES 37 IN THE SENATE

WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins agreed to cosponsor the Genocide Resolution–S.Res.164–bringing the total number of cosponsors to thirty-seven.

Over the past several months–both senators heard regularly from their Maine constituents on the matter of signing on–reflecting the growing activism of the Armenian American community in northern New England. The last three Senate cosponsors have come from Vermont and Maine: Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT)–Senator Collins–and her senior Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Neither one of the New Hampshire Senators–however–Judd Gregg (R-NH)–or John Sununu (R-NH)–has cosponsored the measure.

"This resolution reaffirms the responsibility that we have as Americans to prevent genocide from reoccurring. Genocide is a horrendous crime–and its perpetrators must be brought to justice. But it is also important that the world acknowledges–remembers–and learns from past genocides. This is why a resolution such as S. Res. 164 is so important," said Sen. Collins–who chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee and is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.

Senator Snowe serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In April of 2003–an Armenian American aide to Sen. Snowe participated in an Armenian Genocide observance and unveiling of an Armenian Genocide monument. At the event–held in Portland–she read a statement from the Senator commemorating the victims of the Genocide.

The Genocide resolution was introduced in the Senate in June by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ). Its companion House measure–H.Res.193–led by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA)–Adam Schiff (D-CA)–and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)–was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee in May and has 111 cosponsors. The resolution cites the importance of remembering past crimes against humanity–including the Armenian Genocide–Holocaust–Cambodian and Rwandan genocides in an effort to stop future atrocities. Support for the measure has been widespread–with a diverse coalition of over 100 ethnic–religious–civil–and human rights organizations calling for its passage–including American Values–National Organization of Women–Sons of Italy–NAACP–Union of Orthodox Rabbis–and the National Council of La Raza.

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