From the HRC:
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA)/Matthew Shepard Act gives the Department of Justice (DOJ) the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the DOJ with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.It doesn't seem to be getting a lot of press around, so let me see if I can stir up some trouble, yea? Rep. Conyers (D-MI) also introduced this bill in 2005 (it seems, I could be wrong... it's really hard to find good info on that particular proposal), and it was intro'd in both 1999 and 2007.
The Act provides the DOJ with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable to act, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of bias-motivated, violent crimes resulting in death or serious bodily injury. The LLEHCPA also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers or assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias-motivated crimes.
It currently has 42 co-sponsors, including three from Ohio! Rep. Driehaus (Cincinnati), Rep. Kilroy (Columbus), and Kucinich (Cleveland) are all on board for it! Yea!
Make sure you email your Representative and Senator to push this through and protect LGBT people against hate!
Oh, and make sure you check out the HRC site -- FightHateNow.org -- dedicated to passing this very very important law.