Owens to Decide Whether to Extend Hate Crimes Law to Gays, Lesbians

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Governor Owens has a tough decision to make. On party-line votes, state lawmakers approved a bill that would add gays, lesbians and the disabled to the list of people protected by the state's hate crimes law.

The bill is now sitting on the governor's desk, waiting for his signature or veto.

State law already makes it illegal to commit a crime based on a victim's race, religion, ancestry or national origin.

Before adjourning for the year Monday, the Democratic-controlled Legislature agreed to use an annual overhaul of the state's criminal laws to adds gays, lesbians and the disabled to the list.