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Obama set to sign Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill tomorrow

Jessica Geen October 27, 2009

US president Barack Obama will reportedly sign a bill giving gays new protections from hate crime.

The bill is nicknamed the Matthew Shepard Bill, after the gay Wyoming teenager who was murdered in 1998. It was passed by the Senate 68 votes to 29 last week.

It will expand federal hate crime laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability.

The bill is attached to the Department of Defence reauthorisation bill, a bill to provide new F-22 fighter jets.

According to ABC News, Obama will sign the bill into law tomorrow.

It is thought that members of Shepard’s family will attend the signing at the White House and a reception with gay rights campaigners will follow.

More: Americas

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