legislation

And Then the U.S. Senate Said: Let There Be Hate Crimes Protections

matthewshepard

So the U.S. Senate decided anyone who attacks gay and transgender Americans should suffer greater consequences if that violence is motivated by hate. Yup: The Matthew Shepard Act, attached to the Defense Department’s spending bill, passed.

The bill passes without funding for the F-22 program, a sticking point that President Obama insisted he would veto.

Still on the table? The death penalty for hate crimes, which Sen. Jeff Sessions (who opposes the new hate crimes classes) injected into the bill. A special conference committee that will convene to match up the House and Senate versions of the Matthew Shepard Act will decide which portions to keep (like the death penalty provision) before both legislatures vote one final time in September, sending the bill to Obama.

Who better sign that mo’ fo’.