Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act Of 2007
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton issued the following statement on Senate approval of the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill:
"A crime motivated by hate on the basis of a victim's race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity is not just a crime against the individual - it is a crime against a community. It sends a message to an entire group of people that they are unwelcome and that they should be afraid. Hate crimes are an affront to the core values that bind us to one another, and we should dedicate the resources needed to prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent of the law.
The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act condemns the abhorrent practice of victimizing people because of their race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity. It authorizes the Justice Department to help state and local governments investigate and prosecute hate crimes and provides grants to help state and local governments prosecute these appalling offenses. With today's vote, the Senate is proclaiming loudly that the American people will not tolerate crimes motivated by bigotry and hatred. I am proud to cosponsor this important legislation and will continue to work hard to provide our law enforcement and prosecutors with the resources they need to fight these appalling crimes."