Wednesday, October 28, 2009

President Obama Signs Anti-Hate Crime Bill Into Law

Protects Trans Folks, Too!

Earlier today, President Obama signed the anti-hate crime bill into law, which is the first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Prevention Act bears the name of a gay college student from Wyoming who was brutally tortured and murdered by two attackers in 1998. Its passage also honors the memory of Senator Ted Kennedy, who fought tirelessly for more than a decade to expand federal anti-hate crime protections to include such crimes.

This historic anti-hate crime law will:

* Allow federal authorities to more easily investigate and prosecute crimes motivated by race, color, or beliefs;

* Update the law to include crimes motivated by disability status, gender, or sexual orientation; and

* Strengthen federal support for state and local law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of hate-motivated violence.

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