Friday, October 23, 2009

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed yesterday!

When I called Carolyn Wagner and told her that The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed yesterday, she was in tears and said she didn't think she would see this day in her lifetime.

I'm thinking of Bill of course. And so many others.

Now it will now go to President Obama's desk to be signed into law, and he has promised to do so.

The Task Force press statement includes:
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will help protect people against violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, gender, national origin and disability by extending the federal hate crimes statute. It will provide critical federal resources to state and local agencies to equip local officers with the tools they need to prosecute hate crimes. The House passed the bill Oct. 8. It now moves to President Obama, who has vowed to sign it.
"With his signature, President Obama will usher in a new era — one in which hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will no longer be tolerated."
— National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Care
Read the The Task Force press release:
Task Force: Passage of federal hate crimes bill marks 'milestone for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans'

See more information on Wikipedia: Matthew Shepard Act

This isn't the ending. It will be such an important piece of this work that we do when hate crimes happen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Matthew Shepard’s legacy - looking back and ahead on this anniversary.

Matthew Shepard was murdered eleven years ago today.
"... despite the passage of time and increased cultural visibility, the realities faced by LGBTQs today are 'no different than when Matthew Shepard was murdered."
~ Charles Robbins (Executive Director and CEO of
The Trevor Project.
Please read this excellent article:
Matthew Shepard’s legacy :: The fight continues
by Scott Stiffler, EDGE NYC, Monday Oct 12, 2009.