Utah includes LGBT in a hate crime law

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The Republican Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, signed a bill to extend a definition of hate crimes to cover crimes on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. The bill could be passed only after the Mormon Church, which dominates politics in the state, vowed not to resist it, and there was such a vow. LGBT+ rights group Equality Utah said the moment represents “an impressive leap forward for our state” and a massive win for the whole society of Utah in all its diversity. Their comments were echoed by state senator Derek Kitchen, a Democrat and the only openly gay member of the Utah legislature. According to AP, Kitchen said: “This bill comes at such an important time in our community. Everywhere we look we seem to be seeing more hate, more violence, more directed remarks”. The bill’s Republican sponsor Lee Perry also spoke about a gay cousin who was a victim of hate crimes himself.

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