Hate Crimes

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Hate crimes are some of the most heinous acts committed. Rep. Eshoo strongly believes in preserving the constitutional rights of all Americans to live free from the fear of being targeted for violence because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, or their sexual orientation. Rep. Eshoo has consistently supported strong hate crime laws to discourage attacks on historically vulnerable groups, and continues to advocate for these laws in the 113th Congress.

2009 Defense Authorization Act

In the 2009 Defense Authorization Act, Congress included the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act as part of the legislation. The Matthew Shepard Act provides federal assistance when a hate crime is committed against persons because of their gender, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, or status as a member of the U.S. Armed Services. The bill gives federal, state, and local governments the jurisdictional tools and authorities necessary to assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. The bill was signed into law on October 28, 2009.

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