Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), an original cosponsor of the bill, gave the following comments after passage:
"The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is an essential step
toward giving teeth to our local and national hate crime laws," Nadler said.
"That Americans would be singled out and victimized because of their race,
ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion is despicable. That our government
currently lacks the ability to fully investigate such heinous crimes and
prosecute the perpetrators is shameful."
The drive to pass legislation picked up steam after Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was murdered in 1998 near Laramie, Wyoming. Unfortunately Republicans were in charge for most of that time. Their anti-gay base forced them to obstruct such efforts and protections. Finally, the legislation survived such obstruction and stands a good chance of becoming law.
Oh and by the way, it is not just meant to protect gay people but also people that are often targeted because of their race, ethnicity AND RELIGION!