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President Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill – Thank You to the 25,000 Care2 Members that Helped it Reach his Desk!

President Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill – Thank You to the 25,000 Care2 Members that Helped it Reach his Desk!

President Obama has signed the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law as part of the Defense Authorization Act. This would not have been possible without the 25,000 Care2 members who signed petitions and called their members of Congress to urge them to support this important piece of legislation. So, thank you to the Care2 community!

But could we ask one more favor?

No, it’s not for us. It’s for Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew. She has worked tirelessly to bring about this change in America’s hate crimes law so that sexuality, gender identity and disability are now treated equally to race, religion and nationality in matters of crime prosecution.

We know nothing can replace the son that she lost that tragic day eleven years ago, but the way in which she changed that awful event into a force of affirmative action is inspiring. We want to thank her. Do you? Keep reading…

While we’re at it, we’d also like to say a big thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for working with Congress year after year to make sure that existing hate crimes laws were expanded. So what are we asking you to do?

Something we know is easy for you!

Care2 have created an Action that everyone can sign to show their gratitude for the work that has gone into passing the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

So, please sign the Care2 Action to thank Judy Shepard, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign for their incredible work.

And, once again, thank you to all the members of the Care2 community who backed this legislation. You’ve helped to make a little bit of history. 

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Elmada.

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19 comments

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11:03AM PDT on May 7, 2010

Glad they expanded the hate crimes definition, wish they would add homelessness. No one deserves to be hurt because of their gender, religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, social background, race, etc. Also I find it sad/funny how so many people calling themselves Christians spread so much hate when Christ was supposed to be love incarnate.

9:17PM PDT on Apr 27, 2010

Nathan B-I have never heard so much ignorance and hate spew out of one person's mouth. And as for your last few sentences-all I can do is laugh.

5:26AM PST on Nov 3, 2009

Most LGBT would like to be left alone. They just want the same rights YOU enjoy and when that happens, they will stop 'bugging' you. That being said, I'm glad something positive was able to come out of these two horrendous crimes.

11:32PM PDT on Oct 31, 2009

Don't they act very perverted in the parades on the Brazilian holiday Carnival? (I think I spelled that wrong.) And aren't a good number of the people in those parades straight?

6:17PM PDT on Oct 31, 2009

"Maybe all the gays acting grossly perverted in their parades will be viewed as a hate crime against the general Christian and moral public"
Shows the writer has NOT THE SLIGHTEST IDEA OF WHAT A "HATE CRIME" IS.
If you don't like Gay Pride parades, don't watch! If you don't like Gay literature, Gay art or Gay movies, don't go there! Expressing joyous, sex-positive Gayness is never a "Hate Crime".

Expressing Gay Sexuality, is not a "Hate Crime" AGAINST any particular ridiculous, pathetic narrow-minded group of blinded bigots.
Expressing Gay Sexuality, is a POSITIVE EXPRESSION OF LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL. Just like "straight" sexuality of Christians, even, is. I suppose. Missionary position, and all that.
The "Moral Public" IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. The Moral Public PREFERS LOVE OVER HATE. The Moral Public thinks Gay Pride Parades are a hoot! The Moral Public invites Gay people and expressions of Gayness to its bosom!
And SO DO MOST CHRISTIANS, by the way. EXCEPT for a tiny, narrow group that somehow thinks itself entitled to make generalizations about all the rest of the world!
If you don't want to passionately kiss another same-sex person, NOBODY is forcing you to! Verrrry interesting, that the WORST public gay-bashers, both Republican lawmakers and Christian ministers, turn out to have SECRET GAY LIVES with under-age boys or with gay male prostitutes, themselves.... Verrrrrry interesting!
Isn't HYPOCRISY the WORST PERVERSION NEXT TO HATRED AND SADISM???

5:50PM PDT on Oct 31, 2009

An estimated 10% of the population is {exclusively} homosexual. {Many more than that, willingly participate in a homosexual experience at some time in their lives.} Therefore, the idea that "98%" of the population is NOT homosexual or opposes homosexuality, could not be more grossly in error.
There is a large and ever-growing part of the population, that is FRIENDLY to pro-gay legislation, and to Gay people. Interestingly, the more Gay people "come out" as Gay to their families, friends and neighbors, the MORE this support, grows. Almost EVERYONE knows SOMEONE who is Gay; whether they know it, or not. And when the person they know, "comes out" as Gay, they realize this is the same person they liked, BEFORE they knew he or she was Gay.
OVERWHELMINGLY, among Young People, according to polls, there is support for Gay Rights. And GROWING support among the Older Generations, too.
There is NO SENSE in which same-sex love, is a "perversion". LOVE is NEVER a perversion. As for "the act" itself, it is NATURAL, as ANIMALS have been observed doing it {as well as even "forming Gay families"}. It is perfectly NORMAL for Humans to at least have thoughts about it.
HATE IS A PERVERSION. GAY-BASHING IS A PERVERSION. SPREADING LIES AND HATE-TALK AND SLANDER IS A PERVERSION. That is NOT "normal"; and is based on feelings of inadequacy, of weakness rather than strength, compensated for by bullying, by ganging up and doing physical harm to others...

9:26PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

To those who feel this law is unnecessary or un-warranted:
This law is necessary & crucial at this point in time. If people would stop hating LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people, & stop killing, beating, or hurting us, then maybe we wouldn't need a law like this.

When you talk about protecting people because of their religion, race, or nationality, I don't understand how you can say it is not just as important to protect people because of their gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

Maybe you didn't realize it, but race, nationality & yes, RELIGION are protected, & crimes against people because of any of these characteristics can be considered hate crimes if the crime is motivated by these factors.

Maybe you should read up on your law, & history before you go getting upset that Christians are not protected. HELLO, religion was already a protected class. Believe it or not, LGBT people are targeted in greater numbers, and often, it is by someone who has been taught to hate them for religious reasons.
Once the disproportionate killing, beating, & hating ends, then make your argument that a law like this shouldn't exist. Give us equality (that means ALL the rights a heterosexual person has). Accept us & embrace us (not just tolerate us). Then we can talk about not needing this law anymore.

My christian faith has taught me to love, not hate. Thank you Judy Shepard, members of congress, & President Obama

4:53PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

"Why do you guys never mention that sheppard was a drug addict and was killed for reasons involving drugs???"

Why is it your business that he did drugs? I have friends, gay, bisexual and straight, who do drugs but I don't like them any less.

Why should "a drug addiction" make him or any other LGBT idividual any less deserving of protection or justice or rights? Everyone deserves to be treated equally regardless of their sexuality, faith, background or occupation.

What if he was Christian and straight and did drugs and was killed? Does he deserve justice or protection then?

4:45PM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

Nathaniel B you are an ingnorant moronic class-A homophobic asshole.

"Maybe all the gays acting grossly perverted in their parades will be viewed as a hate crime against the general Christian and moral public"

How many gay pride parades have you been too, and watching on TV doesn't count.

"as in the 98% of the country that is not homosexual and does not want their children or themselves to have to tolerate this"

And the children or teens or young people who have same-sex parents?

"if homosexuality is so great then why according to statistics does it shave 20 years off your life on average???"

Can you provide evidence to support that bullshit? And AIDS/HIV is not evidence.

"Why do you guys never mention that sheppard was a drug addict and was killed for reasons involving drugs?"

Mattew Shepard was killed because he was gay. Where do you get that BS he was killed for "reasons involving drugs"?

I know....keep the agenda going no matter how many lies, how much gross distortions you have to apply."

What agenda? What is this "agenda" you homophobes keep ranting about?

"And you bash Christians that have facts and all kinds of evidence to base their lives on?"

What evidence? And don't say the bible, because the bible is not evidence.

6:15AM PDT on Oct 30, 2009

Matthew Sheppard the drug addict that happenned to be homosexual....your secret is out. I hope the bashback terrorist homosexual group that goes into chuches and pushes people and kisses and throws condoms around will be persecuted equally. Maybe all the gays acting grossly perverted in their parades will be viewed as a hate crime against the general Christian and moral public...as in the 98% of the country that is not homosexual and does not want their children or themselves to have to tolerate this.....if homosexuality is so great then why according to statistics does it shave 20 years off your life on average??? Why do you guys never mention that sheppard was a drug addict and was killed for reasons involving drugs??? I know....keep the agenda going no matter how many lies, how much gross distortions you have to apply. Don't you ever feel just a little ...well....dumb living a life based on lies and perversion? And you bash Christians that have facts and all kinds of evidence to base their lives on? That is ridiculous.

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