BIDEN Lauds Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation
The U.S. Senate today passed the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (Amendment No. 2067) as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, is a cosponsor of today's amendment, which would strengthen hate crimes protections by providing additional tools and support for law enforcement and by giving the Department of Justice authority to investigate and prosecute crimes of violence committed because of a person's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
"Today we sent a powerful message that victimizing people solely because of their race, religion, disability or sexual orientation will not be tolerated in this country," said Sen. Biden. "Hate crimes are not just violent crimes against individuals, they are crimes against entire communities. They offend our core values of equality and fair treatment for all. Today we made certain that federal, state and local law enforcement have the resources they need to ensure that justice will prevail over hate."