Hate crimes against gay people were only wrong before, but thanks to the Senate, we're one step away from having anti-gay hate crimes recognizable in a court of law. This is a major step in the fight for gay civil rights, as this is the first federal law in support of us. The bill is named after Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, both men killed because of their sexual orientation.
The bill will provide hate crime protection to people attacked or killed because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. President Obama has said he will sign the bill and is expected to do so very soon (as in a week or two).
The passing of this Federal law means that the US Government recognizes that gay people are out there and that we deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else. Hopefully this bill will open the door in people's minds to the idea that marriage is a human right too and should be available to everyone who wants it.