Homosexuals Get New Protections under House Bill
April 29, 2009 - 6:08 PMGay victims of violence would gain new federal protections under a revived and expanded hate crimes bill passed by the House. Conservatives strongly objected but lacked the votes to stop the legislation.
The bill could provide a financial bonanza to state and local authorities, with federal grants to help pay for prosecution of hate crimes. The federal government could step in and prosecute if states requested it or declined to exercise their authority.
A weaker bill died two years ago under a veto threat from President George W. Bush. But President Barack Obama urged support before the vote.
Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts has introduced the Senate's version of the legislation.
The House bill added protections based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.
(Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)