The U.S. House has finally passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate
Crimes Prevention Act, aka the Matthew Shepard Act, an expanded hate crimes bill to protect gay victims. It passed 249-175 over the objections of – surprise! – conservatives.
"No members of society – none – deserve to be victims of a violent crime because of their race, their religion, their ethnic background, their disability, their gender... or their sexual orientation," said sponsor Edward Kennedy.