Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hate Crimes Alert: Senate Expected to Vote this Week!

According to this article in the Washington Blade, the Senate is poised to vote on the hate crimes bill (aka the Matthew Shepard Act) Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, and according to some sources, the bill is expected to pass.

The bill, S. 1023, is part of the Travel Promotion Act, which is geared toward establishing a national travel promotion program to communicate U.S. travel policies and to promote travel to the United States. The hate crimes bill passed the House on April 29, 249-175, as a standalone measure. The legislation would allow the U.S. Justice Department to assist in the prosecution of hate crimes committed against LGBT people that result in death or serious injury.

John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management and the highest-ranking openly gay presidential appointee in history, announced during a speech at D.C.'s Capital Pride on Sunday that the Senate would address hate crimes as early as this week. He also said the Obama administration would soon announce changes regarding inequities faced by LGBT employees in the federal workforce.

We will updating the blog with developments throughout the week, so stay tuned!

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