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Monday, December 5, 2011

PUERTO RICO: Lawmakers Attempt To Exclude LGBT From Hate Crimes Law

Michael Lavers reports that Puerto Rico's legislature is set to exclude LGBT residents in a revision of the island's hate crimes law.
The Puerto Rico Senate late last month approved a provision that would eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity and religious beliefs from the hate crimes statute that was included in the penal code that lawmakers approved in 2004. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the amended penal code this week during an extraordinary legislative session that Gov. Luis Fortuño convened. Representative Héctor Ferrer and Sen. Eduardo Bhatia joined LGBT and Dominican activists at a press conference on Sunday, Dec. 4, to criticize the proposed amendments. "To eliminate these groups as protected categories is to invite the commission of hate crimes in Puerto Rico," said Ferrer, as Vocero reported on Dec. 4 "It is a setback in the country’s public policy."
This move is especially outrageous considering that Puerto Rico has seen several of America's most heinous anti-LGBT murders in the last several years.

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