Conservatives: Cincinnati can’t use hate-crime law to protect gays

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Conservative activists have filed suit arguing that a new Cincinnati law against hate crimes cannot run afoul of a city charter provision that bars the city protecting gays. A group called Equal Rights Not Special Rights argued in a lawsuit last week that the hate-crimes law, which covers acts against the disabled, the elderly, and gays, violates Cincinnati’s charter, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Cincinnati is reportedly the only U.S. city that has amended its charter to forbid enactment or enforcement of laws based on sexual orientation. Ohio’s hate-crimes law covers intimidation based on race, religion and national origin, but not sexual orientation. Cincinnati’s provision was aimed at plugging what some viewed as a loophole in the state criminal code, the Plain Dealer says.

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