Obama adds sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories
Dec 01, 2009
With the stroke of a pen, President Obama expanded federal hate-crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories, a goal for which gay-rights activists have been working for more than a decade.
Obama’s action on October 28 came after Congress approved the provision over the objections of some conservative religious groups, who viewed it as the first step down a slippery slope toward abridging religious speech against homosexuality.
Supporters of the bill—including many moderate and liberal Christian leaders—say it will make it easier for federal and local authorities to investigate violent crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s sexual orientation, racial background, gender and other characteristics.