For the first time, hate crimes prevention legislation has passed both chambers of Congress. This is the closest we've ever been to securing federal assistance for the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please join me in urging your senators and representative to ensure that the Matthew Shepard Act (S 1105) is included in the conference report of the Department of Defense Authorization Act (HR 1585) and sent to the President's desk for signature.
This legislation would eliminate the barrier currently preventing federal involvement in protecting victims of bias-motivated crimes on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Current law authorizes federal involvement only in cases involving bias related to race, color, religion or national origin.