Obama to Sign Hate Crimes Bill Wednesday

From Sunlen Miller and Z. Byron Wolf:

Eleven years after Matthew Shepard’s death, President Obama will sign the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill into law during a White House signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon, White House officials confirm.

The long-sought hate crimes provision is part of the fiscal year 2010 defense authorization bill and will extend federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim's gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Matthew Shepard a gay twenty-one year old college student was brutally. killed in 1998 Some of the Shepard family will be in attendance at the White House signing on Wednesday. Afterward there will be a reception with gay rights groups as well as civil rights leader to commemorate the occasion.

The main thrust of the bill is defense policy, including authorizing $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The DOD Authorization bill also strips money from the Pentagon budget for the controversial F-22 Raptor. The Pentagon and the White House wanted to stop production, but appropriators had balked at costing jobs in their states.

--Sunlen Miller and Z. Byron Wolf

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