What We Missed

President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard Act, which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to existing hate crimes laws.
A trans woman in Australia successfully fought for an apology and a change in policy from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade after she suffered embarrassment and harassment while traveling abroad with a passport that still identified her as male.
It’s Friday folks! Add your links in comments and enjoy the Halloween weekend.

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  • uberhausfrau

    the MS/RB bill also covers people with disabilities.

  • bluethought

    I am a HUGE fan of this bill, but I cannot believe the conservative backlash!! From the Yahoo! article covering the new legislation:
    “Democrats have long campaigned for such legislation, but Republicans have blocked it, as conservatives warned that the move could unfairly discriminate against priests who speak out against homosexuality based on religious convictions.”

    I’m sorry. This just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s not a political issue. It’s a human issue, and I just don’t understand how people can be opposed to protecting the rights of humans! Why are they so concerned about this law DISCRIMINATING against oppressors when without it, we are letting oppressors DISCRIMINATE against the LGBT community?
    They’re calling an individual’s inability to HATE others “unfair.” I just don’t understand.
    Anyway, props to Obama and Congress. Hopefully this is the silver lining behind the dark cloud of oppression. (:

  • http://hemmingforddogblog.wordpress.com/ hemmingforddogblog.wordpress.com

    You know that the Halloween Pug is going to become a Zombie now, don’t you? :)

  • femiwhat
  • beka

    The one-year passports were instituted, she said, after an Australian transsexual, forced to travel on a passport that identified her as male, was arrested in Singapore.

    Oh God.
    I don’t think that was even in the local papers. No, I highly doubt it would be.
    I can’t even believe that this happened here. I mean, I know that it’s criminal to have gay sex, and there’s no concept of male rape in the law, and shit like that, but there’s been a good history of trans rights afair and I don’t want to think how many stories go unreported because of the restrictions on the press.

  • lucierohan

    Although I definitely think the Republican backlash is partisan (if the bill endangered the rights of gay rights activists I don’t think they would be so sympathetic) for me it’s a freedom of speech/thought issue.
    I would completely support hate crime legislation if it didn’t include the crime sentencing enhancement act, which allows the court to extend sentencing if it finds the crime was motivated by prejudice. People should be punished for their actions, but not their opinions (even as awful as their opinions are).
    I’m not a fan of hate either, but people should have the right to their hateful thoughts and words.

  • Véronique

    The hate crime bill also adds gender and disability.

  • Edrick

    Wow, I sure am glad that this is being passed!
    I mean, after all…. Until this bill, violence against Homosexuals was Never prosecuted!
    I find it hard to believe that we can call this a “Civilized” society when Murdering Women, Homosexuals, and Minorities was not against the Law.