Senate Votes to Expand Hate Crime Laws to Gays

Five Republicans join in 62-38 vote
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2009 2:40 PM CDT
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, awaits the start of the committee's hearing on hate crimes legislation, Thursday, June 25, 2009, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – The Senate has voted to extend hate crime protections to include those attacked because of their gender or sexual orientation, mirroring a similar measure already passed in the House, the Hill reports. Five Republicans, including Olympia Snowe and Dick Lugar, joined all the Democrats present in supporting the bill. Other Republicans opposed the law; Jim DeMint called it “offensive,” saying, “Justice is blind—blind to the superficial circumstances of the victims and the defendants.”