President Obama is expected to sign a
gay-inclusive hate crimes bill approved by Senators last week on
Wednesday, ABC News reported.
On Thursday, senators voted mostly
along party lines 68 to 29 in favor of expanding hate crimes
legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Democrats stowed away the bill inside the must-pass fiscal year 2010
defense reauthorization bill, a move that rankled some Republicans.
House members approved the bill by an
overwhelming majority on October 8.
The bill is named for Matthew Shepard,
a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was killed in
1998 by two men he met in a gay bar, and James Byrd Jr., a black man
dragged to death behind a pickup truck in 1998. Shepard was beaten
and left to die shackled to a post along a rural road near Laramie.
Judy Shepard devoted herself to passage of the bill named after her
Several members of the Shepard family
are expected to attend the White House signing ceremony and a
reception to follow. Leaders of gay rights and civil rights groups
are also expected to attend.