In Observance and Commemoration of the Five-Year Anniversary
Of the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

           On October 28, 2009, the President signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, stating: “…[T]hrough this law, we will strengthen the protections against crimes based on the color of your skin, the faith in your heart, or the place of your birth.  We will finally add federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.  And prosecutors will have new tools to work with states in order to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes.  Because no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love.  And no one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.”

            On Thursday, November 6, 2014, the President and his White House Staff convened a special gathering of civil rights leaders, community-neighborhood advocates, educators, health care providers, law enforcement officials, legislators, and others to observe and commemorate the five-year anniversary of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  Among those making remarks at this special program were Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, FBI Director James Comey, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Vanita Gupta. (continued)




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