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Obama Signs Hate Crimes Act Into Law

Jim Burroway

October 28th, 2009

obamalgbtscorecard1President Barack Obama today signed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act into law. This act, which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the previously existing categories of race, religion and ethnicity for protection against violent bias crimes, is the culmination of  a decade of persistence by Dennis and Judy Shepard and LGBT advocacy groups.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation released the following statement:

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.”



Timothy Kincaid
October 28th, 2009 | LINK

Thank you, Mr. President.

Lindoro Almaviva
October 28th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks to Obama and those who voted for it.

One down, how many more to go?

October 28th, 2009 | LINK

I am glad Obama has kept at least one of his promises.

October 28th, 2009 | LINK

All he did was not step in the way of it.

Still waiting for him to use the bully pulpit and put some more weight behind the other priorities.

Priya Lynn
October 28th, 2009 | LINK

Well, he’s kept 1 out of 8 promises, that’s about par for a 4 year term, guess he’s done all we can expect.

Emily K
October 28th, 2009 | LINK

thanks, Mr. President.

October 28th, 2009 | LINK

Eh, ok it’s now signed. I’m still not moved one way or the other on the necessicity of this law, but at least the far right’s nonsensical rhetoric will dissipate now. Or perhaps I should say be shown to be nonsensical. I’ll be more impressed when ENDA is passed and DADT is repealed. Only then will I find cause to celebrate.

October 28th, 2009 | LINK

I would like to express my thanks to the NEM participants and the people who protested outside the HRC dinner. Without your final push, this simply wouldn’t have happened.

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