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Republicans try
to kill hate-crimes legislation

Republicans try
to kill hate-crimes legislation

Committee chairman takes advantage of "suspension of the rules" procedure.

In a calculated effort to remove hate-crimes protections for gays and lesbians attached to a federal bill, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner offered up parallel legislation without the protections that cleared the House on Wednesday.

The earlier legislation, a children's safety bill that included hate-crimes amendments, passed the House last September. Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, brought a new children's safety act to the floor without the hate-crimes amendments and saw it pass. As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Sensenbrenner took advantage of the "suspension of the rules" procedure, in which debate on proposed legislation is limited and amendments cannot be added. Sensenbrenner's bill will most likely replace the earlier bill and heads now to the Republican-controlled Senate.

"The United States Congress is not a card game. You can't just keep reshuffling the deck if you don't like the first hand the majority deals you," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese argued. "It is hypocritical to claim to promote child safety while squashing legislation that would keep millions of Americans, children included, safe from hate violence." (

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