Hate Crimes Provision Passes in the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass this year's Department of Defense funding bill. The bill comes with a measure that includes protection for victims of hate crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity . This means that the Justice Department would be able to assist in the prosecution of such hate crimes that resulting in death or serious injury.

After the Senate passes the defense bill as a whole, a conference committee will iron out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. The final vote will likely happen this September, and if it passes, "gay" legislation will reach President Obama's desk for the first time.

Some who are wary of the bill cite the expanded provisions for the death penalty, and the possibility of 1st Ammendment violations (for example, if a religious instructor teaches that homosexuality is sinful, and his student commits a violent hate crime against a self-identified gay person, could the teacher be charged with inciting a hate crime?). What do you guys think?

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