Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Friday, October 09, 2009
House Approves Hate Crimes Bill
House Gives Final Approval to Hate Crimes Bill The House on Thursday gave its final approval to legislation expanding federal hate crimes to include attacks on gays and transgenders. LGBT advocates hailed the vote as a long-awaited victory, but the GOP accused Democrats of "valuing some lives more than others," and of "immorality" for tacking the measure to the 2010 Defense budget.
Attached to the bill is a measure named after two murder victims: Matthew Shepard (left), a gay Wyoming university student who died in 1998 after being tortured, and James Byrd, Jr., a black man who was dragged to death by white supremacists the same year as Shepard's murder. (Image: familyequality.org)The National Defense Authorization Act, or H.R. 2647, passed by a vote of 281-146. Forty-four Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill.