Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Obama Calls on Congress to Pass Hate Crimes Legislation

In a statement released yesterday, President Obama urged Congress to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as The Matthew Shepard Act, which is expected to come up for a vote in the full House today.

"This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009," President Obama said. "I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action."

President Obama's stance is a clear, and welcome change, from the past. The hate crimes bill faced strong opposition from the Bush Administration, despite enjoying overwhelming support from the public.

To take action and urge your Member of Congress to support this critically important piece of legislation, click here.

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