HRC Releases New Hate Crimes Video Featuring Judy Shepard
April 21, 2009
Today the Human Rights Campaign released a new video in conjunction with the campaign to pass federal hate crimes legislation. The video, "10 Years," features Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was murdered in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. Watch it here:
The video profiles the stories of hate crimes victims who were targeted because of who they are. They include:
- Angie Zapata who on a summer night in Greeley, Colorado, was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher because she was transgender.
- Billy Ray Johnson a mentally disabled man from Texas who was taken to a party, ridiculed, knocked unconscious, and then dumped by the side of the road.
- Luis Ramirez who while walking home to his family in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, was beaten him to death by a group of young men yelling racial and ethnic epithets.
- Ryan Skipper of Eloise, Florida, who was robbed, driven to a dirt road and stabbed more than twenty times because he was gay.
- Sean Kennedy, a South Carolina man who died after he was assaulted by a man yelling anti-gay slurs. The state has no hate crime law and his attacker was sentenced to three years in prison.
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. The LLEEA will give the Justice Department jurisdiction over crimes of violence committed because of a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity. Existing law only covers race, color, religion, or national origin-based hate crimes, where the victim was engaging in one of six “federally protected activities”:
- enrolling in or attending a public school or public college;
- participating in or enjoying a service, program, facility or activity provided or administered by any state or local government;
- applying for or enjoying employment;
- serving in a state court as a grand or petit juror;
- traveling in or using a facility of interstate commerce; and
- enjoying the goods or services of certain places of public accommodation.
Under current law, even in the most blatant cases of racial, ethnic, or religious violence, no federal jurisdiction exists unless the federally protected activity requirement is satisfied. The LLEEA will address these limitations and permit the federal government to work in partnership with state and local officials to investigate and prosecute hate-based violence. Visit HRC's action page TODAY to encourage your congressional representatives to support the LLEEA (H.R. 1913).
Issues: Hate Crimes
May 21, 2013
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