Hold Your Breath

That Incredibly Important Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill? Congress Votes Tomorrow

matthewshepard

After the House Judiciary Committee approved the Matthew Shepard Act — otherwise known as the trans-inclusive Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act — for what feels like the 900th time (okay, the second), the full Congress may vote on the bill TOMORROW.

Enter organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, which is urging you to ring up your representative. (You’ll recall HRC now supports trans-inclusive legislation.)

Relays CQ Politics: “Under the bill, crimes of violence using fire, a gun or a bomb that are motivated by gender or sexual orientation would be punishable by a fine and up to 10 years in prison. Federal prosecutors would have to show a link to interstate commerce and get permission from the attorney general or another senior Justice Department official before bringing such a case. For several such offenses, including kidnapping and murder, the bill would provide for up to a life sentence in prison.”