After a long battle, the Senate today approved a new measure expanding federal hate-crime laws to cover violence motivated by a victim's sexuality, gender identity, gender, or disability. In an attempt to stymie President Bush's threat to veto the legislation, the measure was attached to a defense authorization bill—which no president has ever vetoed, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The bill passed the Senate 69-30, with nine Republicans joining all Democrats in the vote. The bill would the first expansion of hate-crime law since it was instituted in 1968. Opponents are nevertheless confident Bush will veto the bill. "The president is not going to agree to this social legislation on the defense authorization bill," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said.