The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Yesterday President Obama signed a law ten years in the making. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010) expands the concept of a hate crime to include crimes based on sexual orientation. Some are referring to it as the first real civil rights legislation for gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. After several of the versions of the bill died in various Congressional committees, it was finally passed as an addition to the bill authorizing the defense budget for 2010, which caused some controversy. For more, take a look at articles on CNN, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, which includes the remarks of the President.