By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com February 22 2001 12:00 AM ET
An Arkansas house panel on Tuesday turned back legislation that would have enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by hateincluding hatred of gay men and lesbians. The judiciary committee defeated the measure despite impassioned pleas from supporters, including one of the nine African-Americans who endured angry white mobs to integrate Little Rocks Central High School in 1957. I dont think its a legal issue, and its not a moral issue. Its an issue of public policy, Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock) said before voting against the measure, along with 10 members of the 20-member panel. Everyone wants to see...divisions healed. Setting aside classes [of victims], youre not doing anything to bring us together.