House OKs expanding hate crime law

March 20, 2003

The House of Delegates voted 90-44 yesterday to approve a proposal to expand the state's hate crimes law to gays and lesbians.

The measure, which goes to the Senate, would make it a separate crime for someone to obstruct, injure, intimidate or interfere with a person because of their sexual orientation. Currently, Maryland's hate crime law protects people on the basis of their race, color, religious beliefs or national origin.

The initial bill also sought to add ancestry, disabilities and age to the measure, but those provisions were removed.

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