Thursday, September 27, 2007

Matthe Shepard Act passes Senate!

WASHINGTON– In an historic step toward equality for GLBT Americans, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Matthew Shepard Act, which updates and expands the federal hate crimes laws to include bias motivated violence based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability. The current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity and would encompass attacks committed beyond federally protected activities. A version has already passed in the House of Representatives.

Bush calls the Matthew Shepard Act "unnecessary." According to the FBI one in six hate crimes are motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. The bill provides new resources and tools to assist local law enforcement in prosecuting vicious crimes. Though Bush has vowed to veto it, apparently deeming particular citizens don't deserves the same protections from this type of insidious crime, the MSA has been attached to a defense spending bill.

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