Sunday, March 14, 2010

Controversial bill passes State Senate

clipped from www.oudaily.com

The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill Thursday that would limit what authorities can do when prosecuting hate crimes.

The bill would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from sharing information about hate crimes with federal authorities if the state of Oklahoma did not recognize the crime as a hate crime by its own statutes.

The Oklahoma Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community condemned the bill’s passage.

The bill would leave LGBT Oklahomans with no legal recourse if they are victims of hate crimes, Laura Belmonte, vice president of The Equality Network, said in a press release.

“Not only does the state hate crimes law exclude sexual orientation or gender identity, but SB 1965 also prevents law enforcement officials from asking for federal assistance in enforcing the LGBT-inclusive federal hate crimes law,” Belmonte said.

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