No one should be targeted for who they are, or who they love. Efforts to pass an enumerated hate crimes bill began with the late Senator Pete Suazo over two decades ago. Opponents stalled this effort because they warned if “sexual orientation” was ever included in statute, it would legitimize gay lives, and ultimately lead to same-sex marriage.
By 2019, our world had changed. Utah finally passed an LGBTQ inclusive hate crimes law, that included both sexual orientation and gender identity. Republican sponsors Sen. Dan Thatcher and Rep. Lee Perry worked alongside their many Democrat colleagues to champion legislation that would protect everyone.
In a time of national partisan divide, Utah showed the country another possibility.
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