“There are still Laws to Change and Hearts to Open”

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Answering many critics’ call, with the stroke of a pen, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act became law. Essentially, President Obama’s signature expanded the hate crimes law to include that of sexual orientation or gender identity. Said President Obama of today’s events, “After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we’ve passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are.” Click here for complete details covered by the USA Today.

Eleven years ago, James Byrd, an African American from Texas was dragged to death, while later that same year Matthew Shepard, a gay teen from Wyoming was beaten to death. The President referenced the significant strides we have made in this country, yet “Despite the progress we’ve made, there are still laws to change and hearts to open. This fight continues now and I’m here with the simple message: I’m here with you in that fight.” Click here to read entire article from CNN.

Since taking office, President Obama has been criticized for not addressing the military’s don’t ask-don’t tell policy, yet today, those criticisms have been somewhat quelled. However, many opponents, namely US Representative Mike Pence of Indiana deem the expanded protections as a way for the President to use “his position as commander in chief to advance a radical social agenda, when he should have used it to advance legislation that would unequivocally support our troops.” The Shepard-Byrd Act was attached to a defense authorization bill, which the President “said the bill finally cuts wasteful weapons projects that some lawmakers have spent years trying to kill.” For further details, click here to go to FOXnews.


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