Hate Crimes Bill Passes House

[Update:  OK, I was in error before. The House has NOW passed the bill, 249-175, with 18 Republicans joining the majority.]

The House of Representatives just passed HR 1913 -- The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 -- on a vote of 234-190. The bill, which Obama has urged Congress to pass, would extend federal hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, as well as race, color, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation.

Not a single Republican voted in favor. 15 Democrats voted against.

In the floor debate before the vote, North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx called it a "hoax" that Matthew Shepard's killing had anything to do with him being gay.

Ted Kennedy and Olympia Snowe will lead the effort for passage in the Senate later in the year.

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