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Eight Forty-Eight

The significance of the Matthew Shepard Act

On this day last year, a milestone for the gay community was met. President Obama signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Under its terms, violence against gay people is a hate crime subject to prosecution. It also allows the federal government to step in if states are negligent in seeking recourse for victims. To learn more about the significance and effectiveness of this law, we talk with Camilla Taylor. She’s a senior staff attorney at Lambda Legal.

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