RIP Byrd and Shepard

The Senate passed groundbreaking legislation Thursday that would make it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

And Obama has Pledged to sign the measure into law. Huzzah!

This month, Obama told the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest gay rights group, that the nation still needs to make significant changes to ensure equal rights for gays and lesbians.

“Despite the progress we’ve made, there are still laws to change and hearts to open,” he said during his address at the dinner for the Human Rights Campaign. “This fight continues now, and I’m here with the simple message: I’m here with you in that fight.”

Among other things, Obama has called for the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He also has urged Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act.

(N.B. It’s possible this is all just a beautiful dream we’re having.)

Choosing a Halloween Costume

Now this is a fraught time of year for feminists. Any good Halloween costume ideas out there? Jezebel warns us off non-creative sexy costumes here. And reprinted on Angry Black-White Girl’s blog here is the Top 10 Reasons Not To Wear A Culturally Appropriating Halloween Costume list that got its start on facebook. (Thanks sex geek for the pointer.) So given that the skanky tribal theme is off, what’s on? What would be a funny and feminist Halloween costume? Or feminist and really scary?