Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

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The Matthew Shepard Act, officially called the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is an Act of Congress that was passed on October 22, 2009,[1] and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28.[2] The act adds crimes that are committed because of the victims gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability to the 1969 federal hate-crime law.[3]

The Act is the first federal law that gives legal protection to people who are transgender.[4][5]

The bill also:

  • protects a victim even if they were not engaging in a federally-protected activity, such as voting or going to school;
  • gives federal law enforcement a greater ability to look into possible hate crimes that local law enforcement decides not to;
  • gives $5 million per year in funding for 2010 through 2012 to help both state and local governments pay for the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes;
  • makes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) track how many hate crimes are committed against transgender persons[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act passes Congress, finally". Retrieved 2010-2-20.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. "President Barack Obama signs hate crimes legislation into law". Retrieved 2010-2-20.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. "Obama Signs Defence Policy Bill That Includes 'Hate Crime' Legislation". Retrieved 2010-2-20.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. "It's Official: First Federal Law to Protect Transgender People". National Center for Transgender Equality. 
  5. Dillman, Mary C. (October 25, 2009). "How the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act will affect public schools". Swearer Centre for Public Service at Brown University. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  6. "Hate Crimes Protections 2007". National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-12-09.