LOCAL NEWS

Utah Hate-Crimes Law To Get Hearing After Years Of Gridlock

Feb 19, 2019, 3:38 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:15 pm

Capitol in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Silas Walker, Deseret News)...

Capitol in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Silas Walker, Deseret News)

(Photo: Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal to strengthen Utah’s hate-crimes law is getting a hearing, a potential turning point after years of gridlock in the Legislature.

Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher said Tuesday he’s optimistic a panel of lawmakers will approve the legislation after discussing it later this week.

The plan’s future had been in doubt, but Thatcher says revisions to include protections for more groups of people have helped convince his colleagues to support it.

The news comes days after a video showing a man in Salt Lake City allegedly punching a stranger because he was gay gained widespread attention online. Lawmakers say the timing is coincidental. The proposal has been gathering momentum since the November beating of a Latino man.

Utah’s current hate-crime law doesn’t protect specific groups and prosecutors have said it’s essentially unusable.

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Utah Hate-Crimes Law To Get Hearing After Years Of Gridlock