Washington (CNN) -- President Obama on Wednesday signed a law that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
The expanded federal hate crimes law was added to a $680 billion defense authorization bill that Obama signed at a packed White House ceremony.
The hate crimes measure was named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.
Shepard's mother, Judy, was among those at the ceremony that also included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney General Eric Holder and leading members of Congress and the Pentagon, who were on hand for the appropriations bill signing.
To loud applause, Obama hailed the hate crimes measure in the bill as a step toward change to "help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray." Read complete article - CNN Politics
President Obama made remarks from the White House East Room commemorating the enactment of the
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
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The New York Times
Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill
By JEFF ZELENY, October 28, 2009
…The law expands the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation…
“Prosecutors will have new tools to work with states in order to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes,” Mr. Obama said, speaking in the East Room of the White House at an evening reception, “Because no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love.”
… “You understood that we must stand against crimes that are meant not only to break bones, but to break spirits — not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear,” Mr. Obama said. “You understand that the rights afforded every citizen under our Constitution mean nothing if we do not protect those rights — both from unjust laws and violent acts.” Read complete article - By JEFF ZELENY The New York Times
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Oh, People - Patti LaBelle 65,310
"Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit." Erik Erikson
Comment on the movie: The Power Of One 1201
I remembered the name of the movie and that Morgan Freeman was in it. A very moving story that let's us know that if we want to change the world we have to be persistent and know that there are those who teach us how to overcome injustices. Just listen to those God sends in our lives with hope for tomorrow then act on it. Thanks again.