Pelosi Statement on the 10th Anniversary of Historic Hate Crimes Legislation

Oct 28, 2019
Press Release

Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement commemorating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the historic Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which deters hate crimes by expanding federal protections and equipping state and local law enforcement with the tools needed to prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, national origin, disability or gender identity:

“A decade ago, when President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, our nation took a momentous step forward in the fight for justice and equality for all.  Today, this legislation stands as a fitting memorial to Matthew and James’s lives and their families’ tireless advocacy, ensuring that all victims of hate crimes have access to the justice they deserve, regardless of who they are or whom they love.

“Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has shamelessly pursued a disgraceful agenda that has empowered the forces of hatred, violence and bigotry while inflicting pain and fear into vulnerable communities, particularly LGBTQ individuals, immigrants and communities of color.  House Democrats will always fight to defend the dignity and worth of every person, which is why we passed the Equality Act this year, building on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act’s landmark protections.  Senator McConnell must listen to the American people and take up this legislation, so that we can finally, fully end discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.  

“As we mark this milestone for justice, House Democrats will continue to speak out against violence and extremism, and reaffirm our commitment to the promise of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  Today, and every day, we celebrate the rights to justice, liberty and equality that are the foundation of our democracy, and remain dedicated to ensuring that every American can live free from fear, violence, persecution and hate.” 

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