Home > crime, death, gay rights, law, racism, violence > Obama signs new hate crime legislation

Obama signs new hate crime legislation

After working so hard to get this off the ground, Obama has finally signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act yesterday, the Feminist Majority reports. This is some exciting stuff!

The bill extends the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks motivated by sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability and empowers federal authorities to help local law enforcement investigate hate crimes.

This is what Obama had to say:

“Over the past 10 years, there were more than 12,000 reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation alone. And we will never know how many incidents were never reported at all…no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love. No one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.”

Matthew Shepard was a university student who was tortured and killed, because he was perceived to be gay. James Byrd Jr. was an African-American man who was tied to the back of a truck by two white supremacists, dragged from it and decapitated in the process. They were both killed in 1998. Yes, this has been a long time coming.

Edit: Sorry, the link wasn’t right!

  1. Arlene
    November 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Re new bill signed by President Obama on new hate crime legislation, what is the penalty for those who violate it? All participants that raped 15 year old girl in Richmond School must be given death penalty. Why are juveniles are still protected by not releasing their names and pictures. This is one of the main reasons why they keep on doing it because they are juveniles. Release their names and photos so the whole world can see them. STOP PROTECTING THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE MINORS. THEY COMMITTED AN AWFUL CRIME SO THEY LOSE ALL THEIR RIGHTS AND GIVE JUSTICE TO THE REAL VICTIMRS.

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