The U.S. Senate approved a bill July 16 to add sexual orientation, gender
identity and other categories to federal hate-crimes protections.
The measure, which passed on a voice vote, was attached to a
defense-spending bill. A move to remove it from that bill failed 63-28. A
final vote on the new categories was expected to occur July 20.
The House of Representatives already has passed a similar bill.
"More than 60 senators support the Matthew Shepard Act, legislation that
will provide police and sheriffs' departments with the tools and resources
they need to ensure that entire communities are not terrorized by hate
violence," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.