POLITICS

Indigenous Tribe Passes Law On Hate Crime Protecting LGBTQ People

According to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the law is modeled after the Matthew Shepard Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, which expanded existing federal hate-crime laws to include actions motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disability. 

The new policy under the tribe law means offenders will face a fine of $1K and addition of jail time to any penalties.

In a statement to SDPB, Marlow Medicine Crow Jr, who is part of the Crow Creek Law and Order Committee, said this amendment to the law is the “first of it’s kind” and also added “It was a long time coming.

There's a lot of things that go on that would necessitate that law and maybe help give more protections to them – the people that are being discriminated against.” The amendment, which passed unanimously, will likely take effect in December 2019.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe, which is also in South Dakota, was the first tribe to pass a hate crimes law that included protections for LGBTQ citizens back in September of 2019.

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