Sexual Orientation Added to Hate Crime List, Awaits Obama's OK

Attacks based on sexual orientation added to hate crimes list and now await authorization from President Obama...

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Attacking an individual based on his or her sexual orientation has been added to the list of hate crimes by the Senate and now awaits President Obama's signature. From CNN:

The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.

"Knowing that the president will sign it, unlike his predecessor, has made all the hard work this year to pass it worthwhile," said Judy Shepard, board president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation named for her son. "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.

Several religious groups have raised concerns that, with the passage of such bills, they would no longer be able to taunt homosexuals with signs saying AIDS was a curse from God meant to sent them to hell. Attorney General Holder said it will still be OK for them to taunt with signs and words and pamphlets, they just can't lay their hands on people.