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The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to expand federal hate crimes laws to include crimes motivated by a person's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical disability. The vote ends a decade-long push for supporters of the measure in Congress and ensures that it will become law soon.

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Hate Crimes Legislation, Now Riding on the DoD Bill

July 17, 2009 - by Isabelle Cutting

With a 63-28 vote last night, the Senate approved the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill. The amendment seeks to expand federal hate crimes laws to include bodily crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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A controversial bill to extend federal hate crimes protections to victims of attacks based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disabilities will get a vote in the Senate this week.

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