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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 07:05 PM
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Obama signs first major federal gay-rights law
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Obama signs first major federal gay-rights law

By Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, a milestone that activists compared to the passage of 1960s civil-rights legislation empowering blacks.

The new law adds acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes. Gay-rights activists voiced hope that the Obama administration would advance more issues, including legislation to bar workplace discrimination, allow military service and recognize same-sex marriages.

Congress passed the hate crimes protections as an unlikely amendment to this year's Defense Authorization Act. Obama, speaking at an emotional evening reception with supporters of the legislation, said that more than 12,000 hate crimes had been reported the past decade based on sexual orientation.

He spoke of President Lyndon Johnson signing protections for blacks in the 1960s and said this was an extension of that work. "We must stand against crimes that are meant not only to break bones but to break spirits," Obama said. "No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love."

Legislation barring firms from firing employees on the basis of their sexual orientation could win passage in the House of Representatives by year's end, gay-rights advocates said. More than half of U.S. states currently allow employers such freedom.


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  -Obama signs first major federal gay-rights law ProSense  Oct-28-09 07:05 PM   #0 
  - Unfortunatley, this has to be done  Cha   Oct-28-09 07:07 PM   #1 
  - Thank God this finally passed.  saracat   Oct-28-09 07:10 PM   #2 
  - It's truly sad that this was necessary...  JuniperLea   Oct-28-09 07:18 PM   #3 
  - I would like to see the same law based on gender.  Whisp   Oct-28-09 07:26 PM   #4 
  - actually it already has been passed, under Clinton, called the violence against women act  dsc   Oct-28-09 07:41 PM   #5 
  - ah, thankyou. goes to show I could use some learnin.  Whisp   Oct-28-09 07:43 PM   #6 
  - Here:  ProSense   Oct-28-09 08:06 PM   #9 
  - K&R. I thought Obama=Bush, though!  jenmito   Oct-28-09 07:44 PM   #7 
  - i think the current meme is Obama hates Gays.  mkultra   Oct-29-09 11:21 AM   #13 
  - Thanks Mr. President for doing this. n/t  vaberella   Oct-28-09 08:00 PM   #8 
  - This wasn't in the hate crimes law already?  Arkana   Oct-28-09 08:24 PM   #10 
  - Evidently not on the Federal level  lunatica   Oct-29-09 11:51 AM   #17 
  - K&R for a very good move forward.  Parker CA   Oct-28-09 08:28 PM   #11 
  - KnR. This never would have happened a year ago, would it?  Hekate   Oct-29-09 01:14 AM   #12 
  - Every time we attempt to make progress in this nation money and religion hinder us. We have too many  ej510   Oct-29-09 11:30 AM   #14 
  - A long-overdue first step.  freddie mertz   Oct-29-09 11:42 AM   #15 
  - Sad that we are so narrow in our thought process as a nation that this was necessary  Peacetrain   Oct-29-09 11:49 AM   #16 
  - This is great news  lunatica   Oct-29-09 11:53 AM   #18 

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