One of our crowning legislative jewels down, one to go.
The Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill, which would make it a federal crime to assault an individual because of their sexual orientation or gender identity passed the Senate Thursday on a 68-29 vote.
Attorney General Eric Holder stated it was "a milestone in helping protect Americans from the most heinous bias-motivated violence."
"The passage of this legislation will give the Justice Department and our state and local law enforcement partners the tools we need to deter and prosecute these acts of violence."
It was part of a defense appropriations bill, and is now headed to the White House and awaits President Obama's signature.