"No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love."
Here are the remarks President Obama made a few minutes ago following the signing of the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act into law.
"After more than a decade of delay, we have passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are."
"As a nation we've come far on the journey toward a more perfect union and today we're taking another step forward."
He described hate crimes as "... crimes that are meant not only to break bones but to break spirits, not only to inflict harm but to inspire fear. We understand that the rights afforded every citizen under our Constitution mean nothing if we do not protect those rights from unjust laws and violent acts and we understand how necessary this law continues to be."
You can watch the whole statement here on YouTube ... and you can email the White House and thank President Obama for his actions today here.