(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement after President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
“Today’s signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is a major victory for equal rights in our country. Guaranteeing equal protection is a basic responsibility of our government, and I’m so proud that it is now the law of this land.
“For too long, communities have been trying to respond to hate crimes without the tools they need to succeed. This new law will provide these essential tools for federal, state and local governments to investigate and prosecute these abhorrent crimes.
“Americans should never have to fear being attacked out of hatred for their religion, the color of their skin, or their sexual orientation. This new law is a major step in the right direction to ensure that thousands of Americans victimized by hate crimes each year will have access to the justice they deserve.”