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Committee adds sexual orientation, cops to hate crime law

MGN Online

A legislative committee voted to make it a hate crime to target someone because of their sexual orientation or their employment as a law enforcement officer.

Posted: May 1, 2019 3:58 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A legislative committee voted to make it a hate crime to target someone because of their sexual orientation or their employment as a law enforcement officer.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday took up a bill to add police officers to the groups covered by Alabama's hate crime law. Current law allows heightened penalties if crimes were motivated by the victim's race, religion, national origin, ethnicity or disability.

Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, a Mobile Democrat, added an amendment to include crimes that target someone because of their sexual orientation.

Some Democrats have unsuccessfully pushed for years to add sexual orientation to the law. Figures said the bill was a good vehicle for the needed change.

The committee approved the amendment and bill, which now moves to the full Senate.

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