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  Why GOP Leader [Boehner] Opposes Hate Crimes Protections for Gays
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ContributorBrandon 
Last EditedBrandon  Oct 13, 2009 01:37pm
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AuthorBrian Montopoli
MediaTV News - Columbia Broadcasting System CBS News
News DateTuesday, October 13, 2009 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLast week, House Republican Leader John Boehner objected to House passage of a bill that would expand hate crime laws and make it a federal crime to assault people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

"All violent crimes should be prosecuted vigorously, no matter what the circumstance," he said. "The Democrats' 'thought crimes' legislation, however, places a higher value on some lives than others. Republicans believe that all lives are created equal, and should be defended with equal vigilance."

Based on that statement, CBSNews.com contacted Boehner's office to find out if the minority leader opposes all hate crimes legislation. The law as it now stands offers protections based on race, color, religion and national origin.

In an email, Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner "supports existing federal protections (based on race, religion, gender, etc) based on immutable characteristics."
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