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Engel Statement on 10th Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Engel Statement on 10th Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

 

Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement:

 

“10 years ago we passed one of the most consequential civil rights bills in modern times, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This bill, which I was proudly an original cosponsor on in 2001 and continued to cosponsor until its passage, made it possible to prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, national origin, disability and gender identity. It is a landmark law in this country, and has become even more important today with the rise in hate crimes over the past several years.

 

“While some so-called leaders continue to stoke the flames of bigotry, House Democrats are committed to protecting the rights and dignity of all Americans. Remember, it was our Democratic House, along with a Democratic Senate and President Obama, that enacted the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

 

“The Hate Crimes Prevention Act also laid the groundwork for another major piece of legislation that we’re currently fighting to advance, the Equality Act. It’s critical for us to extend all federal protections to every American, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The House passed the Equality Act back in May, but as usual, Senate Republicans refuse to advance the bill forward. It’s long past time that our federal laws fully reflected our values as Americans.”

 

 

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