President Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill Into Law
These killings intensified pressure for tougher federal hate-crimes legislation. Today, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
"After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are," Obama said in signing the defense budget bill that includes the new hate-crimes law.
The new law basically expands existing hate-crime protections to outlaw attacks based on sexual orientation or gender, in addition to race, color, religion or national origin.
In a later ceremony devoted to the new law, Obama told supporters, "No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love." He cited statistics that in these past 10 years, there have been more than 12,000 hate crimes based on sexual orientation."
-LA Times has more ....
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