UTAH: LGBT-Inclusive Hate Crimes Law To Pass After Right Wingers Add “Political Expression” As Category

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

After years of stalling in the Utah Legislature, a bill to strengthen the state’s hate crimes law has now cleared both chambers by commanding margins. Before passing the bill, the House adopted an amendment that added “political expression” to the list of categories that would be protected by the updated hate crimes statue.

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee [photo] tearfully spoke in favor of adding political speech as a protected class, saying she’s received death threats since she made widely criticized changes to a bill that sought to ban conversion therapy for minors. “I’ve been targeted,” Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, said.

The bill would allow judges to increase penalties for a crime if a defendant is convicted of targeting someone based on ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation.