Matthew Shepard Act Squeaks By!
By a 60-39 vote, the Senate just passed the Matthew Shepard Act. Sixty votes were required for cloture. Happy day! John McCain was the missing voter. Yes/No vote tally here. In a gracious gesture after the vote, Sen. Kennedy suggested a unanimous approval of Sen. Orrin Hatch's competing hates crimes amendment, which would merely have authorized a study of hate crimes. Hatch's amendment then passed 97-3.
Now we'll see if the president will veto the defense appropriations bill to which the MSA is attached, as he has threatened to do.
As noted in the post below, Sen. Toe-Tapper voted no on the MSA. Wouldn't it be ironic if he got gay-bashed for cruising the wrong guy?
UPDATE: HRC's Joe Solmonese has released a short video celebrating today's win in the Senate, which is the first time trans-inclusive legislature has ever passed both chambers of Congress. But Solmonese also laye out the road ahead before the Matthew Shepard Act can become law.