Top GOP Congressional leaders are blocking the Hate Crimes Bill, a bill which enjoys widespread bi-partisan support, from reaching the House floor for a vote. The bill would expand current hate crimes legislation to include gay and lesbian people, women and people with disabilities. The bill would also provide state and local officials more power to investigate hate crimes. Opponents of the bill claim that the bill is unnecessary because assault and murder are already against the law.
However, the recent shooting in a Roanoke, Virginia, gay bar, which was motivated by hate for gays, has some Republicans reconsidering their stance against the hate crimes bill.