An Oklahoma state senator plans to offer a bill in the spring legislative session that would give the state of Oklahoma the power to opt out of federal requirements for carrying out the newly amended hate crimes law.
State Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, said the newly passed Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which extends hate crimes law protections to include actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, oversteps the bounds of the federal government and hinders free speech and religious freedom.
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