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House Passes Hate Crimes Bill

Posted May 4, 2007 8:11 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would expand the definition of hate crimes to cover wrongdoing motivated by a victim’s “gender, sexual orientation, gender identity” or disability.

President Bush has threatened a veto if the measure passes the Senate, calling expansion of the law “unnecessary and constitutionally questionable,” according to the New York Times.

One of the bill’s opponents is U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. He says he finds racism and sexism “abhorrent,” but he believes the bill is so broad that it could violate the right to free speech.

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