Broadened Hate Crime Measure Gets Final Congressional Approval Minus Republican Support

October 22, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The Senate passed a historic hate crimes extension Thursday that would make it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.  The measure was attached to an essential military-spending bill, which Republicans would have otherwise voted for, but not with a measure that gave gays further legal rights. The measure was approved, 68 to 29, with a majority of Republicans, 35 in all voting against it. The House passed the same bill Oct. 8, also with most Republicans opposed. Those wacky Republicans also rejected a bill this week that would have forbidden defense contractors from asking employees to sign away their rights in the case of rape of sexual assault.

The measure approved today, named after Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., is now headed to President Barack Obama’s for his signature. President George W. Bush had threatened to veto a similar measure during his tenure in office. Shepard was a Wyoming college student killed in 1998 because he was gay. Byrd was a black man dragged to his death that year behind a pickup truck. The law broadens the current definition of federal hate crimes passed in 1968, which protects people attacked because of race, color, religion or national origin to now include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.


One Response to “Broadened Hate Crime Measure Gets Final Congressional Approval Minus Republican Support”

  1. Chris R on October 23rd, 2009 12:54 pm

    it’s a shame that something like this could not stand on its own instead of being attached to an unrelated bill.

    Oh well, it is for the greater good.

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