Ohio Lawmakers Resist Including LGBT in Hate Crime Laws

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in Ohio have resisted including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people to those covered by state hate crime laws.

Ohio is among 14 states that lack a hate-crime law that covers both sexual orientation and gender identity. Federal law gives individuals legal protection for bias-motivated acts that are based on those factors. But state law takes precedence if the crime doesn’t pose a threat to interstate or foreign commerce.

Lisa Wurm, of the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, tells The Columbus Dispatch legislation to include nondiscrimination protections has been introduced in the state legislature every year for the past 10 years.

But some lawmakers have been reluctant to approve such legislation over concerns that they were creating special classes.