James Byrd Jr.

Honoring Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.: Protecting All Americans from Violent Crime

In addition to protections for race, color, religion, national origin, and ethnicity, federal law now protects victims of violent crimes committed based on a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. And in areas where the law already stood, it is now stronger.

Obama Signs Hate Crimes Legislation into Law

Today, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The legislation will extend important protections to victims of violent hate crimes committed based on a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/or disability. It also strengthens existing hate crimes protections for a variety of other categories, including race, color, religion, national origin and ethnicity.
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