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A hate crimes bill needs some tweaks

FILE: Utah Legislature

SALT LAKE CITY – Senate GOP leaders want to avoid having its hate crimes bill ruled unconstitutional.  So, they’re making some adjustments to SB 103 submitted by Senator Daniel Thatcher (R-West Valley City).

The reason for concern is that a similar bill in Georgia was deemed by a court to be too broad and therefore unconstitutional.  Senator Thatcher admits it’s a balancing act between not including enough groups and adding too many groups for protection.

Even if the bill passes the Senate, the House Leadership isn’t sure they’ll vote on it.  Majority Whip Mike Schultz (R-Hooper) says they’ve not talked about the hate crime bill and doesn’t know if any representatives even read it.

The Senate Leadership believes the hate crime bill, which includes protections for members of the LGBTQ community, will pass once they’ve hammered out a few items.