On May 11, 2001, a final victory was won by the family of a man who was dragged to death in June of 1998. Governor Rick Perry signed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act into law.
The Law strengthened penalties for crimes motivated by the victim's race, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual preference, age, or national origin. At the signing, Governor Perry said the new law sends a signal to would-be criminals, if you attack someone because of their religion, race, or gender, you will face stiffer penalties.