Obama Statement on Passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) made the following statement on the passage of the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was offered as an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act. Obama is an original cosponsor of the legislation, which expands federal law to investigate and prosecute hate crimes to include crimes perpetrated because of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.
"This vote was about who we are as Americans and whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality. Those who commit hate crimes should be punished no matter whether those crimes are committed on account of race, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Today's vote is a victory for all of us in upholding basic rights and protections in this country. I urge the President to reconsider his veto threat and support this legislation. Passing this bill will help us live up to the principle that in this country, we treat all of our citizens with dignity and respect."