Obama to sign Hate Crimes bill into law

It’s historic; it’s moving; and it’s about time. Today President Obama will sign The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  There are many stories out there, but here’s a succinct one from NPR’s Morning Edition.  Not only is this a tremendous victory for those people who have been working and fighting and organizing and lobbying for many years, but it also represents a significant first in the history of this country:

“`It’s the first time that transgender people will be in federal code in a positive way,’ says Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

`That’s a really important historical moment for the country—certainly for transgender people, but really also for the country,’ she says.”

Finally, from HRC’s Back Story blog, I wanted to post this video tribute to Dennis and Judy Shepard that honors them for all the work they have done throughout the past decade to help get this legislation passed.  It was shown at the HRC national dinner earlier this month before the Shepards received the first Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award.  Check it out below.

Update: Signed!

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