At the end of last week Congress passed a bill that has been over ten years in the waiting, extending hate crime protection to gays. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act expands the current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, and is a major step forward in terms of criminal enforcement and prevention for hate crimes against LGBT persons and the disabled. Read the AP story.
This is a victory to celebrate. As President Obama prepares to sign the bill into law, Human Rights First is prepared to continue this crucial fight abroad – where hate crime protection is all-too-often insufficient or inexistant. In a few of our target countries, homosexuality itself is still a crime.