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.


Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of H.R. 1566, the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act. This bill seeks to improve hate crime reporting, provide victims with more support and options, and encourage entire communities to come together and heal. The legislation establishes incentives for state and local law enforcement to submit credible and complete hate crime reports, creates grants for state-run hate crime hotlines, creates a federal private right of action for victims of hate crimes, and allows for judges to require community service or educational programming for individuals convicted under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act as part of the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act. 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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