Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just a typo, I guess

Ivor Volsky of Think Progress has story about a major screw-up on the part of religious conservatives in Oklahoma.  With the signing of the  Matthew Shepard Act, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity were added to the list of hate crimes criteria.  Lawmakers from Oklahoma decided that they didn't like LGBT folks being protected, so they set out to essentially wipe out LGBT people from the law in their state.

But in trying to strip LGBT people of protection, the Oklahoma State Senate inadvertently cited the wrong section of the U.S. code. The bill stripped rights under Title 18 U.S. Code Section 245, but protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is actually under Section 249.  Section 245 of the Code refers to race and religious protections. Therefore, Oklahoma actually passed a statute allowing state law to ignore race race and religion in hate crime law.

So right now LGBT people are still protected.  And a statute has been passed to abolish race and religion as defining a hate crime.

(Thanks to Jennie R.)

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