"Ten years ago this month, Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked and murdered because he was gay. A year before Matthew's murder, James Byrd. Jr. was kidnapped, beaten, and stripped naked by three white supremacists, who chained him by the ankles to a pickup truck and dragged his body for three miles. These tragedies reawakened American consciousness about hate crime and sparked debate far beyond U.S. borders. Today, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, critical legislation that strengthens existing U.S. laws by extending federal hate crime protection in cases where the victim was targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender, disability, or gender identity. The new law -- which the U.S. Attorney General Holder called a "civil rights issue that is clearly a priority" -- will also permit federal authorities to assist local governments in hate crime investigations and increase their capacity through training programs. This much-needed step to enhance the government's response to hate crime at home will play an important role in enhancing US leadership on combating hate violence globally. This is already happening. Paul LeGendre: Obama Signs the Hate Crime Bill into Law! What's Next? No comment.