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What's a Hate Crime? In Puerto Rico, They Aren't Sure

What's a Hate Crime? In Puerto Rico, They Aren't Sure

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A Senate committee has already approved legislation to remove LGBT people from the hate crimes law.

Even with a rash of antigay violence in Puerto Rico, lawmakers there will soon vote on whether to remove LGBT people from its hate crimes law, reports EDGE Boston.

Activists in June had demanded that the murders of at least 18 LGBT people be investigated as hate crimes. Outrage began in 2009 when the dismembered body of gay youth Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was found by a road.

In reaction to criticism, Puerto Rico's attorney general had agreed in June to launch an investigatory committee that would determine whether the hate crimes law is being properly applied.

But now a Senate committee has already approved legislation to remove LGBT people from the hate crimes law and the legislation is ready to move to the larger body for a vote as part of an upcoming special session. The bill revises the hate crimes law so only political status, age, and disability are left. Removed are violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and religious beliefs.

Read more at EDGE Boston.

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