Judy Shepard on hate-crimes bill

“When Dennis and I started calling 10 years ago for federal action to prevent and properly prosecute hate crimes against gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans, we never imagined it would take this long. The legislation went through so many versions and so many votes that we had to constantly keep our hopes in check to keep from getting discouraged. But with President Obama’s support and the continually growing bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate lining up behind the bill this year, it became clear that 2009 was the year it would finally happen. We are incredibly grateful to Congress and the president for taking this step forward on behalf of hate-crime victims and their families, especially given the continuing attacks on people simply for living their lives openly and honestly. But each of us can and must do much more to ensure true equality for all Americans.”

–Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, in response to President Barack Obama’s signing a GLBT hate-crimes law Oct. 28.


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