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USA: House passes hate crime bill

Posted 11/10-09 at 13.25

The House of Representatives voted on October 7th to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim's sexual orientation, gender or disability.This would add to the current federal law that covers crime motivated by race, colour, religion or national origin.

The hate crimes legislation would give the federal government authority to prosecute violent hate crimes when local authorities failed to act. It would also allocate $5 million a year to the Justice Department to provide assistance to local communities in investigating hate crimes, a process that can sometimes strain police resources.

Despite opposition from Republicans and some conservative Democrats, the bill is expected to be approved by the Senate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/us/politics/09hate.html?th&emc=th

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