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Bill Would Extend “Hate Crime” Penalties To Attacks Based On Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

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A state lawmaker says Michigan’s hate crime law is overdue for an update.  State Senator Adam Hollier says it’s time to add violence or threats based on sexual orientation or gender identification as a deterrent to hate crimes.  Rick Pluta reports.

Michigan’s hate crime law currently covers violence or threats based on race, color, religion, or gender.  Hollier says the threats against LGBT people are real and range from threats and assault to murder.  He says LGBT people should be protected because hate crime laws are supposed to address the intent of perpetrators of threats or violence.

“Because terrorism is all about intent – intent to encourage people not to do something, to incite fear.”

Hollier is a Democrat from Detroit.  The Legislature’s Republican leaders have not taken a public position on the issue.  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s press secretary says she has not read the bill but favors adding LGBT to Michigan’s hate crime protections.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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