The 2009 expansion of the federal hate crimes law was named after Matthew Shepard, the gay college student was kidnapped and left to die, tied to a fence on a Wyoming ranch.
Stephanie Coontz, a historian at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., who heads the nonprofit Council on Contemporary Families, applauded the progress in efforts to prevent mistreatment due to race, gender, or sexual identity.
“It’s very good we are beginning to recognize groups that have historically been discriminated against, how painful it can be and how overwhelming that denigration and bullying can be when it’s allowed to go on,” Coontz said. “On the other hand, it also allows us to not think through the best way to handle these kinds of crimes.”
Copyright (c) 2012, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.). Visit The Record online at www.NorthJersey.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.
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