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The Associated Press is reporting that on Thursday the Senate approved an expansion of federal hate crime laws. The legislation will allow the 1968 hate crimes law to cover those attacked because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "This bill simply recognizes that there is a difference between assaulting someone to steal his money, or doing so because he is gay,or disabled, or Latino or Muslim."

The legislation also ends the "federally protected acts," meaning that now it doesn't matter where the crime takes place. The 1968 bill only covered crimes in federal government-related environments, including schools and court rooms.

This piece of legislation is an amendment to the new defense spending bill that is expected to be finished sometime next week. President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bill if it includes more money for an F-22 fighter program he is trying to end.



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