Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keep smiling

It's nice to have some good news from time to time, yes? So here's Another Small Victory in the Struggle:

This afternoon, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The law adds gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability to race, color, religion, and national origin as categories deserving protection under federal hate crimes laws.
"This law honors our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short because of hate," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Today's signing of the first major piece of civil rights legislation to protect LGBT Americans represents a historic milestone in the inevitable march towards equality."
After years of effort - including, I will note, strong advocacy on the part of Ted Kennedy - the measure passed the House in 2007 but died in the Senate in the face of right-wing opposition and a threatened Shrub veto. It was passed again by the House in 2009 and got through the Senate by being attached to a DOD authorization bill - which 29 GOPpers then voted against because of the inclusion of the hate crimes provision.

Opponents foamed at the mouth, as usual.
"Expanding hate crimes puts America in lock step with the stated agenda of homosexual activists who will turn next to the so-called Employment Non-discrimination Act, followed by the repeal of the ban on homosexuality in the military and then the Defense of Marriage Act," the Family Research Council warned on its Web site.
Really? Cool!

Here's wishing the FRC more mouth foam.

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