Today is a landmark day for people everywhere who are standing up to hate.
The United States Senate has passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first major piece of legislation providing federal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. President Obama has pledged to sign the bill into law.
On this historic night, Not In Our Town will meet Judy Shepard, when she visits Danville, CA to read from her new book, The Meaning of Matthew. The event is a benefit for Not In Our Town, sponsored by Rakestraw Books, and we will be bringing our thanks and congratulations to Judy Shepard tonight.
If you would like to send a message of thanks to Judy, please share it in the comments below!
Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard and president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board, has been a powerful advocate for the legislation for over a decade. "Dennis and I are extremely proud of the Senate for once again passing this historic measure of protection for victims of these brutal crimes," she stated today. "Knowing that the president will sign it, unlike his predecessor, has made all the hard work this year to pass it worthwhile. Hate crimes continue to affect far too many Americans who are simply trying to live their lives honestly, and they need to know that their government will protect them from violence, and provide appropriate justice for victims and their families."