Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama signs hate crimes bill

President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law at the White House earlier today.

This is the culmination of a struggle that has lasted more than a decade," Obama said. "Time and again, we faced opposition. Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed. Time and again we've been reminded of the difficulty of building a nation in which we're all free to live and love as we see fit. But the cause endured and the struggle continued, waged by the family of Matthew Shepard, by the family of James Byrd, by folks who held vigils and led marches, by those who rallied and organized and refused to give up, by the late Senator Ted Kennedy who fought so hard for this legislation... and all who toiled for years to reach this day."

The president continued.

"At root, this isn't just about our laws; this is about who we are as a people. This is about whether we value one another... whether we embrace our differences, rather than allowing them to become a source of animus," Obama said. "The moment we fail to see in another our common humanity -- the very moment when we fail to recognize in a person the same fears and hopes, the same passions and imperfections, the same dreams that we all share."


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