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Sexual orientation, gender identity won’t be added to Virginia hate crimes law

Sexual orientation, gender identity won’t be added to Virginia hate crimes law

RICHMOND, Va. — A bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes in Virginia is dead for this legislative session.

Virginia state capitol in Richmond.
Virginia state capitol in Richmond.

The Republican-controlled Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the measure Wednesday at the state Capitol on a 6-7 vote.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Barbara Favola, an Arlington County Democrat. It would have added protections for LGBT individuals to an existing state law requiring that hate crimes be reported to the State Police.

The current law is limited to race, religion and ethnic origin.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, supported the measure.

Wednesday was the first day of the General Assembly’s 45-day session.

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