Pelosi Statement on the 9th Anniversary of Historic Hate Crimes Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement commemorating Sunday’s anniversary of the signing of the historic Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which deters hate crimes by expanding federal protections and equipping state and local law enforcement with the tools needed to prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, national origin, disability or gender identity:

“This weekend, our nation celebrates 9 years since we passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, expanding critical hate crimes protections to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, and fulfilling our responsibility to pursue freedom, equality and justice for all Americans.  Today, 20 years since Matthew Shepard’s murder, we feel especially close to his memory as he is interred in honor at the National Cathedral in Washington.

“Sadly, countless vulnerable Americans are faced with continued threats from a destructive GOP assault on our nation’s most cherished values.  From undermining voting rights to fearmongering about immigrants to attacking the rights of women, LGBTQ Americans and transgender servicemembers, the Trump Administration has used their discriminatory agenda to sow the seeds of discord and hate for partisan political gain.  Most recently, reports that the Trump Administration is considering excluding transgender people from its legal definition of gender is a monstrous attempt to erase 1.4 million proud, courageous Americans because of who they are.  The Administration’s appalling actions and encouragement of angry, divisive rhetoric dishonors our duty to ensure all Americans are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

“Democrats will always stand up and speak out against the GOP’s hateful policies.  We will make passing the Equality Act a top priority to remove all doubt that sexual orientation and gender identity belong in the vital protections of the Civil Rights Act.  Together, we will continue to celebrate and take pride in our nation’s beautiful diversity as we fight For The People by lowering health costs and prescription drug prices, raising wages by rebuilding America’s infrastructure, and cleaning up corruption to make Washington work for everyone.”

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