Some key points:
Regardless of your position on "hate crimes" laws, there already is a federal law, and it covers race, religion and national origin. If we're going to have a federal law, shouldn't it cover everyone? ....
This is one of the two big civil rights goals of the year for the gay community, to finally get the hate crime law amended. The second big goal is to get ENDA passed so that it will no longer be legal to fire someone simply because they're gay (and yes, it's legal at the federal level and in the majority of states to do just that).
Can anyone imagine that? It's still legal to fire people because they're gay? In retrospect, perhaps we should. After all, gay people can get thrown out of the military and can't even march on St. Patty's Day. Discrimination is alive and well.