Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

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.

Final Hate Crimes Legislation Passes House

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Authorization by a vote of 281-146. The bill contains language that will extend important protections to victims of violent hate crimes targeted because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability, and expands protection based on race and religion and ethnicity.
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