Gay Advocates Encouraged by Hate Crimes Bill

by Bao Ong | New York Times

As gay and immigrant rights advocates congregated in Jackson Heights, Queens, last week to educate citizens about their rights, Karina Claudio-Betancourt, a community organizer, peered at her BlackBerry and announced that the Senate had passed a measure to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability in the definition of hate crimes under federal law.

The news of the bill’s passage — President Obama plans to sign it on Wednesday — could not have come at a better time, the advocates said.

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