This means that an expansion on the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law will now include protection of people who have suffered from acts of violence as a result of their perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
This vote was extremely controversial. Some right-winged radicals called it the “Pedophile Protection Act” and proclaimed that the Matthew Shepard murder was nothing more than a “hoax.”
Now all that’s left is a signature from President Obama who remains extremely disappointing and exhaustingly apathetic on the equality issue in America, where citizens are treated unfairly, unjust, and sub-standard.
I am proud to say that both of the Senators from my home state of Maryland, Sen. Barbara Milkulski and Sen. Ben Cardin voted “Yes” for this bill to pass. I will be calling them and leaving them messages of Thanks today during my lunch break at work. If you are from Maryland and would like to call either Senator, their numbers are: Mikulski (202) 224-4654 and Cardin (202) 224-4524. If you are from another state and would like to let your Senator know your thoughts on this very important, equalizing bill, the Capitol Hill switchboard number is (202) 244-3121. I would consider adding these numbers to your contacts list in your phone as I have.
To read more about what exactly the Matthew Shepard Act constitutes, click this link.