By Kerry Eleveld
Originally published on Advocate.com October 27 2009 11:55 AM ET
President Barack Obama will sign into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, October 28, at 2:30 p.m., according to a White House advisory.
At the signing the president will be joined in the Rose Garden by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, members of Congress, and relatives of Matthew Shepard (his mother and father, Judy and Dennis, and his brother, Logan) and James Byrd Jr. (his sisters Betty Byrd Boatner and Louvon Harris), for whom the hate-crimes measure is named.
Later on Wednesday, the president will hold a reception in the East Room of the White House beginning about 5 p.m. to commemorate the enactment of the hate-crimes law. Attending will be Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and a broad spectrum of civil rights leaders, including LGBT advocates.
President Obama is expected to deliver brief remarks at both events.