Memory of Luis Ramirez Invoked During Debate on Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate approved, by a 63-29 vote, to attach the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act to S. 1390, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which is considered a "must-pass meaure."
The Hate Crimes bill was introduced on Wednesday as an amendment by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on behalf of Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. After hearing speeches for and against the bill, the Senate voted to end debate on the amendment on Thursday, and was formally agreed to by unanimous consent.
We commend all the Senators who spoke out in support of the Hate Crimes bill, including Senator Robert Menendez (seen above) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (below). On Tuesday, MALDEF observed the one year anniversary of Luis Ramirez's death by calling on Congress to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are glad to see that our calls, in addition to calls by numerous organizations and individuals, have been answered. We continue to urge the Department of Justice to file federal hate crime charges against those responsible for Luis's brutal murder. To contact the Department of Justice about Luis's case, visit the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division here.
Remarks on Luis Ramirez and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
Instrumental to the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act were the efforts of Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mother. Her powerful video can been viewed below: