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US House approves Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill

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  1. Erm, right – my knowledge of the way the American government works is pretty basic, so exactly how does attaching a hate crimes bill to a Bill on whether or not more money needs to be spent on fighter jets make any sense? Particularly if it’s going to put people off voting for it?

  2. Pumpkin Pie 9 Oct 2009, 9:30pm

    It is indeed confusing, but ignoring that, how interesting that Britain’s been shown up by America. I used to feel sorry that my American chums had to live in a less progressive country, but now look what’s happened: our new Equality Bill omits LGBT people, while the American government has done the opposite.

    I wonder how long it’ll be before my American chums will have to feel sorry for me?

  3. Jean-Paul Bentham 10 Oct 2009, 7:57am

    Took the words right out of my mouth, Pumpkin Pie.


  4. Bishop Ioan 11 Oct 2009, 11:38am

    All I can say is that it’s about damned time! The US has a long way to go but it is at least on the way.

  5. I understand that the Speaker of the House has been pushing this forward; well done Nancy Pelossi!

  6. Pumpkin Pie, sexual minorities are already protected by various different laws and the new Equality Bill makes very few differences to the rights and protections British minorities already have.

    Provisions for sexual minorities can be found in:
    – Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
    – Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, of which were in effect since April 2007

    The upcoming Equalities Bill will be inclusive of these two acts

  7. Jean-Paul Benthaam 12 Oct 2009, 6:01pm

    1998 – MATTHEW SHEPARD died on this date (b. 1976).

    Shepard was an openly Gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was fatally attacked near Laramie, on the night of October 6 – October 7, 1998 in what was widely reported by international news media as a savage beating because of his sexuality.

    Shepard died from severe head injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, 1998.

    His murder brought national attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.

    His two assailants were convicted of the crime and imprisoned One is currently serving two consecutive life sentences and the other is serving the same but without the possibility of parole.

    The Matthew Shepard Act (officially the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would expand the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

    As of today the Senate is on the verge of approving the bill and President Obama has vowed to sign it.

    We hope by this day next year we can report this bill has become law.

  8. Laura Bland 23 Oct 2009, 8:35pm

    Thank You President Obama. You have been a blessing to many who have waited for their civil rights to be protected.

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