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Obama signs Hate Crimes Prevention Act

President Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

President Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Finally more than just lip service from our overly-nice President Obama today as he signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.

The new law gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Though we all know how problematic the HRC can be, this project is most certainly a worth one. They have a good breakdown on how it came to sit in front of the Prez. And it most certainly has been a long time coming.

“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 said. “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.”

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