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Bill To Add Sexual Orientation To Hate Crime Law Gets House OK

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama House has approved a bill to add crimes against people because of their sexual orientation to the state's hate crimes law.

The bill by Rep. Alvin Holmes, a Montgomery Democrat, generated heated criticism last year and did not get enough votes to come up for passage. The bill passed Tuesday by a close 46-44 vote with no discussion.

The bill now goes to the Senate where passage is doubtful with only two days remaining in the regular session.

Holmes said the state's current hate crimes law, passed in 1994, includes crimes against people for race, color, religion and national origin, but left out sexual orientation because of a technical mistake.

Holmes said most other states have hate crime laws that include sexual orientation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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