For Immediate Release
October 22, 2009
Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773-588-9158
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323-937-3718
History is Made – Hate Crimes Act Passes in the Senate
President Obama Expected to Sign Hate Crimes Act into Law Next Week
(Los Angeles, CA) On October 22nd, the Senate voted 68-29 to pass the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The hate crimes legislation, introduced as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill, classifies “hate crimes” as attacks based on one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability. The bill also lifts a requirement that a victim had to be attacked while engaged in a federally protected activity, like attending school, for it to be a federal hate crime and allow the federal government to help state and local authorities investigate hate crimes.
“Legislation is not the solution to eradicating intolerance and misunderstanding; it must be accompanied by our continued effort to increase awareness and understanding within our community and create safe spaces for conversation and growth. NAKASEC and its affiliates are dedicated to capitalizing on the passage of the hate crimes bill to speak with the Korean American community around this important issue,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice on major civil rights and immigrant rights issues and promote the full participation of Korean Americans in American society.