Today's vote on the the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R. 1592 was a major step forward for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. The legislation passed by margin with strong bi-partisan support.

I watched the vote from the Capitol with Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was killed in an act of hate violence in 1998. The Human Rights Campaign thanks Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and the entire House leadership, whose dedication made this vote a success. We also commend the bipartisan coalition of leaders who co-sponsored and supported the bill for so long, including Representatives Baldwin, Bono, Conyers, Frank, Kirk, Nadler, Ros-Lehtinen and Shays.

Mrs. Shepard, who serves as the Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, also expressed appreciation

“I am personally grateful to the United States House for recognizing the grave reality of hate crimes in America," she said.

The Senate will soon consider an identical companion bill called the Matthew Shepard Act.