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10/28/2009

Hate crimes bill LAW

by Jeremy Hooper

*The signing:

*The reception:

*Judy Shepard shared the following thoughts about today's milestone:

President Obama Signs Historic Hate Crime Legislation - Statement from Judy
Shepard


After a decade of debate, persistent advocacy and 14 separate congressional
floor votes, President Barack Obama today signed into law the Matthew
Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a White House
ceremony attended by the Shepard and Byrd families.

“When Dennis and I started calling 10 years ago for federal action to
prevent and properly prosecute hate crimes against gay, lesbian and
transgendered Americans, we never imagined it would take this long,” said
Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother and the president of the Matthew Shepard
Foundation Board of Directors.

“The legislation went through so many versions and so many votes that we had
to constantly keep our hopes in check to keep from getting discouraged,” she
continued. “But with President Obama’s support and the continually growing
bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate lining up behind the bill this
year, it became clear that 2009 was the year it would finally happen.”

The legislation allows federal authorities to pursue charges in violent
crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation,
gender, gender identity and disability, in cases where local authorities
cannot or will not secure appropriate convictions. It also opens up federal
aid to local law enforcement for training, prevention and investigation.

“We are incredibly grateful to Congress and the president for taking this
step forward on behalf of hate crime victims and their families, especially
given the continuing attacks on people simply for living their lives openly
and honestly,” Shepard added. “But each of us can and must do much more to
ensure true equality for all Americans.”

The Matthew Shepard Foundation’s work for an inclusive society continues
after passage of this landmark legislation. In addition to advocating for
workplace and housing equality, equal rights for same-sex couples, and an
end to the ban on gay and lesbian military service, the Foundation continues
to reach out to schools and corporations nationwide to encourage respect for
human dignity and differences.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

*Rep. Baldwin weighs in:

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Your thoughts

Ah... now this is reminding me why I voted for this man!

Posted by: Ravvie | Oct 28, 2009 2:35:52 PM

Thanks for braodcasting this live, Jeremy!

Posted by: tom | Oct 28, 2009 2:58:34 PM

Wow. It feels like a new day. For so long, we never had any kind of protection from the federal government. Now we do. It feel so weird now that we can finally check off this item off our agenda for equal rights.

Posted by: Sam | Oct 28, 2009 4:45:03 PM

It's cliched buttttttt.....

Equality.... WINS!!

Fatality~

Wish I could add in Flawless Victory too and complete the cliche >>

Posted by: Jake | Oct 28, 2009 7:01:35 PM

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