UPDATE to my Hate Crimes entry
It's finally happened!!! ....
Today, Wednesday, October 28 in the year of our Lord 2009
"President Barack Obama ... signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, a milestone that activists compared to the passage of 1960s civil-rights legislation empowering blacks.
"The new law adds acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes."(Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers, Wednesday, 10/28/09 on the web:[link]
And at the signing is quoted as saying: "No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love." (Id.)
And the beautiful poetry of it all is that the act is named partially for Matthew Shepard *just cries*. 10 years ... It's about fucking time. ..... Rest now in peace, Matthew, and all those who died before you and after you because of whom they loved.
"The Matthew Shepard Act (officially the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act), is a bill that the United States Congress passed on October 22, 2009, 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." (Wikipedia)
More from Quotes: Talev, McClatchy Newspapers
"The amendment signed into law Wednesday was named partly for Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who died after a 1998 beating targeting him because he was gay, and whose parents were instrumental in leading the fight for such legislation. The law also was named for James Byrd Jr., a black Texas man dragged to his death in a racially motivated killing the same year.
"Gay-rights advocates said that the legislation will enable the Justice Department to step in when states can't or won't, and will make extra federal money and resources available to local law enforcement officials who need help preventing or prosecuting such attacks.
"'This is really the first federal gay rights bill,'[Malcolm] Lazin said. 'So it is a literally historic moment. This is America acknowledging homophobia as a social problem.'"
(supra: Talev, McClatchy Newspapers)
Today is truly a great day. *lifts a glass of wine* to you both, O and J and hugs s, hopeful.