FFAA Commemorates 9 Year Anniversary of Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

October 28, 2018 • 1:37 pm
WASHINGTON – The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law nine years ago today. The landmark legislation expanded the nation’s federal hate crimes law to include LGBTQ people and those perceived to be LGBTQ. The law is named after Matthew Shepard — whose 1998 murder was a turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ equality — and James Byrd, Jr., an African American man murdered by white supremacists that same year.

Freedom for All Americans’ CEO Masen Davis released the following statement commemorating the anniversary:

“After a week of politically motivated attacks across the United States, it’s more critical than ever that we come together to speak out against violence and discrimination. The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard was a rallying call for many LGBTQ people and our allies; indeed, his legacy has contributed to a transformation of how Americans view LGBTQ people. Yet nine years ago after the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, we’re still fighting each and every day to protect our right to be treated fairly and equally. Let us remember Matthew and all the communities who have faced violence — and recommit to creating a better, more compassionate future in their honor.”

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.


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