Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Matthew Shepard bill signed by Obama

Bill Luckett, E.D. of the Wyoming Democratic Party, said this about today's news release detailing the signing of the Matthew Shepard bill:

Eds, please take note of the statement below, and please also incorporate by reference the press releases Wyoming Democratic Party Communications Director Brianna Jones issued over the past couple weeks as this bill passed the House and Senate with no support from Wyoming’s obstructionist congressional delegation. Call me if you need anything! Bill Luckett at

And here's the release:

Contact: DNC Press 202-863-8148

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine Issues Statement Following President Obama’s Signing of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Washington, D.C. – Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 in the Rose Garden this afternoon. The bill - which authorizes appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense, military construction, and defense activities of the Department of Energy - included the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, legislation that will extend new federal protections to people who are victims of violent crime
because of their gender, sexual orientation or identity, or disability. It is an update to the federal hate crimes statute that Congress first passed in 1968.

“Today, President Obama signed into law legislation that was first championed by the late Senator Ted Kennedy and has been more than a decade in the making.

“The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act will help state and local officials prosecute hate crimes by providing them with additional tools and resources. President Obama and his Administration are committed to equal rights and fairness for women, LGBT Americans, persons with disabilities -- indeed, all Americans.

"There is still much work ahead, but today, 11 years after the tragic deaths of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., President Obama has delivered on his promise to sign an inclusive hate crimes bill into law.”

This is a small step toward healing the wounds caused by Matthew Shepard's murder in Laramie on a cold October night 11 years ago. And a suitable tribute to Matt and his dedicated parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard in Casper.

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