Alabama committee adds sexual orientation, cops to hate crime law

State / Regional
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FILE – In this March 3, 2015 file photo, Alabama representatives prepare for the opening session in the house of representatives chambers at the State House in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, to begin the 2018 legislative session that comes at the start of an election year. The […]

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A legislative committee voted to make it a hate crime to target someone because of their sexual orientation or their employment as a law enforcement officer.
    
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday took up a bill to add police officers to the groups covered by Alabama’s hate crime law.  Current law allows heightened penalties if crimes were motivated by the victim’s race, religion, national origin, ethnicity or disability.
    
Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, a Mobile Democrat, added an amendment to include crimes that target someone because of their sexual orientation.
    
Some Democrats have unsuccessfully pushed for years to add sexual orientation to the law.  Figures said the bill was a good vehicle for the needed change.
    
The committee approved the amendment and bill, which now moves to the full Senate.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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