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Rhode Island Gov. Vetoes Expansion of Hate Crimes Bill

Rhode Island Gov. Vetoes Expansion of Hate Crimes Bill

Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed a bill which would have extended hate crime protections for victims of crimes based on their gender identity and expression. Carcieri said the hate crime did not need to be expanded because it already includes protections for discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed a bill which would have extended hate crime protections for victims of crimes based on their gender identity and expression. Carcieri said the hate crime did not need to be expanded because it already includes protections for discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, according to Edge Boston.

"No decision has been made at this time about returning to address the vetoes," House Speaker, Gordon D. Fox said.

LGBT activists like Susan Heroux of Queer Action said they will push for a re-examination of the issue, as some fear the existing bill fails to protect transgender people from hate crimes.

Conservative Rhode Island groups, such as The Family Research Council, spoke in favor of Carcieri's veto.

"In vetoing the measures, Gov. Carcieri rightly chose to tend to the serious business of governing Rhode Island and rejected those who seek to use government resources against anyone who would oppose their radical agenda," said FRC president Tony Perkins, in the Edge article.

Carcieri, whose term ends in January, has a controversial history with LGBT voters. He gave a speech at a anti-gay group's fundraiser saying he did not believe marriage was a civil right. In 2009, he vetoed a bill giving a domestic partner the right to make funeral arrangements, though the General Assembly overrode the veto. He has also pledged to turn down any marriage equality bills, despite several of Rhode Island's neighboring states passing such legislation in recent years.

 

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Marchae Grair