An historic day. By a vote of 68 - 29, the Senate has just passed the conference report on the 2010 Department of Defense Authorization. This was the final step in the legislative process for this bill which contains the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This extends hate crimes protections to people targeted on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
Roll call here. Republicans Bond, Cornyn, Ensign, and McCain joined Collins, Lugar, Snowe and Voinovich.
Earlier in the day Republicans attempted to filibuster the conference bill. That was prevented. House Republicans also attempted to remove the hate crimes language before that chamber passed the conference report––over stiff Republican objection––on October 8.
After languishing on Capitol Hill for nearly 12 years, the bill now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature. The hate crimes bill will become the hate crimes law and the first pro-LGBT legislation to become federal law in the history of our nation.