Federal Hate Crime Laws Strengthened

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that will strengthen the ability of federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. 


The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed by the Senate on July 16, adds gender, sexual orientation, disability and gender identity to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes laws. The measure also provides additional federal support to state and local authorities investigating and prosecuting hate crimes.
“(The) vote to combat hate crimes is a great step forward in our journey to form a more perfect union,” Senator Barbara Boxer said.
“Violent acts based on gender, sexual orientation, disability and gender identity are hate crimes propelled by bias and bigotry, and they can never be tolerated in a fair and just society. This legislation will help law enforcement investigate and prosecute hate crimes across the country,” she said.
“This vote brings us closer to the day when we will truly be able to say there is equal justice for all.”