Thank you. Mr. President, I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the hate crime bill. My support came out of my work as a prosecutor in Minnesota. We had a number of cases that involved crimes that were motivated by hate. Sometimes they were found to be hate crimes under our law, sometimes they were not. One of the cases I remember most, was about a little boy, 14-year-old boy shot in the middle of the day by a guy that said he wanted to go out and kill a black kid on Martin Luther King Day.

We had a Hispanic young man who could only speak Spanish working in a factory and his boss got mad at him because he didn't speak English and he was speaking Spanish and he took a two-by-four and hit him over the head. We also had a temple that was desecrated. We had a number of cases, but what I most remember about this was when the hate crime bill was first introduced in Washington, I had the honor of introducing President Clinton when he announced his support for the hate crime bill.

And before we went into the event, I got to meet the investigators in the Matthew Shepherd case, two burly cops from Wyoming. And they talked about the fact that until they had investigated that case that they really hadn't dealt with ideas of what this victim's life was like, they really didn't want to think about what his life was like. And then they got to know the family in that case, they got to know the mom, and they got to know the people surrounding Matthew Shepherd and their own lives were changed forever, and I hope that by passing that bill, by doing the right thing, we can change the lives of other Matthew Shepherds and other victims of hate crimes.