Oct 28, 2009

U.S. FEDERAL HATE CRIMES: Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

·The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Junior Hate Crimes Prevention Act·

Wednesday, October 21, 2009, Signed into Law by President Barack Obama!

President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Junior. HATES PREVENTION ACT during a White House signing ceremony today.

International civil rights groups hailed passage of the bill, saying it puts the U.S. at the forefront of civil rights.

“The adoption and enforcement of this bill sets the stage for further comprehensive reforms at home and adds momentum to U.S. efforts to continue its leadership in combating the scourge of hate crimes abroad,” Paul LeGendre, director of Human Rights First's Fight Discrimination Program, said in a statement.

The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was killed in 1998 by two men he met in a gay bar, and James Byrd Junior, a black man dragged to death behind a pickup truck a year earlier in Texas. Shepard was beaten and left to die shackled to a post along a rural road near Laramie. Judy Shepard devoted herself to passage of the bill named after her son.

The bill defines hate crimes as those motivated by prejudice against race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. It allows the Attorney General to assist cities and states in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.

House lawmakers approved a similar bill in 2007, but it sank in the Senate under the weight of a VETO THREAT from President George Bush.

President Obama had urged lawmakers to approve the measure.

read it all, by Carlos Santoscoy, click HERE

MURDERED: James Byrd Junior, a victim of a CRIME OF HATE!

MURDERED: Matthew Shepard, a victim of a CRIME OF HATE!

“This is a landmark step in eliminating the kind of hate motivated violence that has taken the lives of so many in our community including Brandon Teena, Matthew Shepard, Fred Martinez, Gwen Araujo, Sakia Gunn, Sean Kennedy, Angie Zapata, Duanna Johnson, Lateisha Green and so many others. The visibility of these tragic losses and the conversations that they sparked brought us to today’s historic step toward ending this violence.”
Media Release from Gladd, Richard Ferraro, Director of Public Relations, read it all, click HERE

¨...In April of 1968, just one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, as our nation mourned in grief and shuddered in anger, President Lyndon Johnson signed landmark civil rights legislation. This was the first time we enshrined into law federal protections against crimes motivated by religious or racial hatred -- the law on which we build today...¨ read President Obama´s entire address at todays Hate Crimes Law Enactment, click HERE

·Thanks to The United States Congress
·Thanks to President Barack Obama
·Thanks to Betty Byrd Boatner and Louvon Harris, sisters of James Byrd, Junior
·Thanks to Judy and Dennis Shepard, Parents of Matthew Shepard
·Thanks to International Civil Rights Groups
·Thanks to Paul LeGendre
·Thanks to Carlos Santoscoy
·Thanks to On Top Magazine
·Thanks to Gladd, at the right sidebar
·Thanks to Richard Ferraro
·Thanks to Pams House Blend, at the right sidebar
·Thanks to Flickr Photosharing


Anonymous said...

Let's hope Australia also legislates on Human Rights. Fingers crossed

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Fingers crossed, and votives lit for Australia and HATE CRIMES legislation aimed at HUMAN RIGHTS for ALL (means all)!

motheramelia said...

Yes. Its about time.