All The Other Amazing Things the Matthew Shepard Act Will Do (For Non-Gays)

“The Matthew Shepard Act, as the bill is known in the Senate, would provide increased funding to state and local authorities to prosecute a wide range of hate crimes — ones motivated by race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It would also authorize the federal government to prosecute these crimes when states fail to do so. The biggest beneficiaries would probably be African-Americans, who make up the largest group of hate-crime victims. It would also help Hispanics, who have been increasing targets of anti-immigrant hatred. The bill’s opponents have focused on the protection of gay people, who were the victims in more than 16 percent of the hate crimes reported by the F.B.I. in 2007.” —The New York Times on new hate crimes legislation [NYT]