S.909 - Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

A bill to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as introduced.
  • Short: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as introduced.

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Introduced
 
Senate
Passes
 
House
Passes
 
President
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04/28/09
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OpenCongress Summary

This legislation seeks to expand upon 1969 U.S. federal hate-crime law by extending its scope towards bodily crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, in addition to the current provisions of bodily crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, and national origin. It would also codify and expand the funding and investigative capabilities of federal officials for aiding their local counterparts.

Senator Kennedy [D, MA] also introduced this legislation in the 110th Congress as a bill, which died in committee, and then as an amendment to the Senate Defense Reauthorization bill (H.R.1585), which was approved by a voice vote. However, this amendment was ultimately dropped due to opposition from antiwar Democrats, conservative groups, and former President George W. Bush. Contrastingly, President Obama has indicated that he aims to see this version of the bill passed. The companion legislation, H.R.1913, passed the House vote in April.
OpenCongress bill summaries are written by OpenCongress editors and are entirely independent of Congress and the federal government. For the summary provided by Congress itself, via the Congressional Research Service, see the "Official Summary" below.

Official Summary

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act - Adopts the definition of \"hate crime\" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (i.e., a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim or, in the case of a property crime, the property that is the o

Official Summary

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act - Adopts the definition of \"hate crime\" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (i.e., a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim or, in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person). Authorizes the Attorney General to:
(1) provide state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies with technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the investigation or prosecution of violent crimes and hate crimes; and
(2) award grants to assist such agencies with the extraordinary expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. Authorizes the Office of Justice Programs to award grants to state, local, or tribal programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles. Authorizes appropriations to the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the Community Relations Service, for FY2010-FY2012 to prevent and respond to hate crime acts. Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit willfully causing bodily injury to any person because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of such person. Amends the Hate Crimes Statistics Act to expand data collection and reporting requirements under such Act to include:
(1) crimes manifesting prejudice based on gender and gender identity; and
(2) hate crimes committed by and against juveniles. Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the exercise of constitutionally-protected free speech.

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Organizations Supporting S.909

  • Anti-Defamation League
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • National Youth Advocacy Coalition
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Black Justice Coalition
  • Civil Rights Coalition
  • ...and 11 more. See all.

Organizations Opposing S.909

  • Focus on the Family


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