After years and years and years of work, tonight the Matthew Shepard Act passed its final congressional hurdle and at long last is on its way to President Obama’s desk for final approval.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation rejoices:
Today, the United States Senate took an historic step toward ensuring justice for the victims of hate crimes targeted for violence due to their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.
“Dennis and I are extremely proud of the Senate for once again passing this historic measure of protection for victims of these brutal crimes,” said Judy Shepard, president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board. “Knowing that the president will sign it, unlike his predecessor, has made all the hard work this year to pass it worthwhile. Hate crimes continue to affect far too many Americans who are simply trying to live their lives honestly, and they need to know that their government will protect them from violence, and provide appropriate justice for victims and their families.”
By voting overwhelmingly to extend to these often-targeted Americans our nation’s decades-old bias crime legislation, senators sent the message that hate crimes will not go unpunished, and local governments and law enforcement agencies will not run out of financial resources to provide justice to these victims and their loved ones.
A wonderful day for LGBT people and a historic day for America! Onward to DADT, DOMA, and ENDA.