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Thread: Bill making violence against gays a hate crime headed to White House

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Bill making violence against gays a hate crime headed to White House

    (and sorry to the detractors, but no, all crimes are not 'equal' based on hate, hate crimes are far worse because they are targetting not only a person, but an entire group by extension from something they cannot change)

    Bill making violence against gays a hate crime headed to White House -- latimes.com

    Reporting from Washington - A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal hate crime cleared the Senate on Thursday and headed to the White House.

    The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have long sought to expand the federal statute beyond attacks motivated by religion, race, color or national origin.

    The bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

    Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., whose Justice Department would be charged with enforcing the provisions, praised the bill's passage.

    "There have been nearly 80,000 hate-crime incidents reported to the FBI since I first testified before Congress in support of a hate-crimes bill 11 years ago," Holder said.

    Recent incidents -- such as the June shooting death of an African American security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by a white supremacist -- "demonstrate that there are still those for whom prejudice can translate into violence," he said.

    The legislation also would give federal authorities more power to help state and local law enforcement officials investigate hate crimes and would expand the federal government's ability to intervene. About 45 states have hate-crime statutes.

    The bill, which was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon's budget, was passed by the House on Oct. 8.

    Some of the 28 Republicans who opposed it said they didn't like being forced to vote on the issue as part of a defense bill.

    "It's a shame that this piece of legislation was added to a bill that's supposed to be about supporting our troops," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

    The defense bill includes $130 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and authorizes a 3.4% pay raise for the military.

    The bill would also make it a federal crime to attack members of the military because of their service.

    The hate-crime measure is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten to death in 1998, and for James Byrd Jr., an African American in Texas who was chained to a pickup and dragged to death the same year.

    "It has been more than 10 years since the senseless and brutal death of Matthew Shepard," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), "and I look forward to watching President Obama sign this much-needed legislation into law."

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i love how all the conservatives against this bill were all "it makes gays special, it's not fair"

    of course, what they fail to mention is that race, creed, color, gender and RELIGION is already protected by hate crime laws
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Something has to be done. For some reason,gays are considered "fair game" now it seems to me. At least some might think twice.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    "It's a shame that this piece of legislation was added to a bill that's supposed to be about supporting our troops," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
    Republicans are pissed because they view this legislation, attached to a defense bill, as a first step to overturning DADT.

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    About time

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    Long overdue. Thank you to the 68 senators and to President Obama.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Hate Crimes bill signed into law

    Hate Crimes Bill Signed Into Law 11 Years After Matthew Shepard's Death

    President Obama signed major civil rights legislation on Wednesday, making it a federal hate crime to assault people based on sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. The new measure expands the the scope of a 1968 law that applies to people attacked because of their race, religion or national origin. The U.S. Justice Department will have expanded authority to prosecute such crimes when local authorities don't.

    The provision, called the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is attached to a defense authorization bill. It is named after Matthew Shepard, a gay college student tortured and killed in 1998, and James Byrd Jr., a black man who was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death the same year.

    President Obama's remarked before signing the legislation:

    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. I promised Judy Shepard, when she saw me in the Oval Office, that this day would come, and I'm glad that she and her husband Dennis could join us for this event. I'm also honored to have the family of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who fought so hard for this legislation. And Vicki and Patrick, Kara, everybody who's here, I just want you all to know how proud we are of the work that Ted did to help this day -- make this day possible. So -- and thank you for joining us here today. (Applause.) So, with that, I'm going to sign this piece of legislation.
    The Human Rights Campaign released a tribute video to Shepard's parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, for their fight to protect other gays from the kind of violence that killed their son.

    After a decade of debate, persistent advocacy and 14 separate congressional floor votes, President Barack Obama today signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a White House ceremony attended by the Shepard and Byrd families.

    "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."

    The legislation allows federal authorities to pursue charges in violent crimes motivated by the victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability, in cases where local authorities cannot or will not secure appropriate convictions. It also opens up federal aid to local law enforcement for training, prevention and investigation.

    "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," Shepard added. "But each of us can and must do much more to ensure true equality for all Americans."

    The Matthew Shepard Foundation's work for an inclusive society continues after passage of this landmark legislation. In addition to advocating for workplace and housing equality, equal rights for same-sex couples, and an end to the ban on gay and lesbian military service, the Foundation continues to reach out to schools and corporations nationwide to encourage respect for human dignity and differences.



    Read more at: Hate Crimes Bill Signed Into Law 11 Years After Matthew Shepard's Death

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    hallelujah, he does something right!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Thank God!
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

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  10. #10
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    wow, i cant believe this took this long

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Good. Obama just did what no other president would do.

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    This should have already been law. No one should be attacked simply because someone doesn't like what they are.



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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Thank you!!!
    My grace is sufficient for you, for my my strength is made perfect in weakness...I love you dad!
    Rip Mom

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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    This should have already been law. No one should be attacked simply because someone doesn't like what they are.
    Agree. It's hard to believe it's taken this long.


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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Good. Obama just did what no other president would do.


    I'm glad he's proving that he is worthy of that Nobel peace prize.

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