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.
I appreciate the great work of the legislature on SB103, which will serve as a powerful tool in providing critical protections to Utah residents. I look forward to it landing on my desk and signing it into law. #utpol @SenThatcher
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) March 13, 2019
A long-stalled measure to strengthen Utah’s hate crime law is poised to become law after a final vote at the Legislature on Wednesday.
— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) March 14, 2019
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) March 14, 2019