Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obama to sign hate crimes bill into law tomorrow

Less than a week after the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to federal hate crimes laws, the White House has announced President Barack Obama will sign the legislation tomorrow afternoon.

I post this blog less than 24 hours after an admittedly emotional visit to the site of an African burial ground here in Key West. It contains the remains of 294 people who died from disease after the U.S. Navy rescued them and more than 1,000 others from three illegal Cuba-bound slave ships in 1860. The United States has certainly made monumental strides since islanders came to the aid of those the federal government freed from bondage in the Florida Straits. And Obama's signature will mark yet another important chapter in the ongoing quest to ensure all Americans receive essential legal protections.

A single piece of legislation will certainly not end hate and bias-motivated crimes, but the fact the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act will become law tomorrow cannot go understated.

No comments: