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R.I. Gov Vetoes Hate-Crimes Bill

R.I. Gov Vetoes Hate-Crimes Bill


Rhode Island governor Donald Carcieri vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state's hate-crimes law to cover victims of crimes based on gender identity and expression. Carcieri said the law did not need to be expanded because it already includes crimes 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 reexamination of the issue, as some fear the existing bill fails to protect transgender people from hate crimes.

Conservative groups such as the Family Research Council praised Carcieri's veto.

"In vetoing the measures, Governor 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 an antigay group's fund-raiser saying he did not believe marriage was a civil right. In 2009 he vetoed a bill giving domestic partners the right to make funeral arrangements for one another, 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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