Illinois Governor Signs Hate Crime Bills

UPI, June 27

CHICAGO—Illinois has two new hate crimes laws intended to protect minorities, the elderly and other groups from housing discrimination and harassment.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the two measures into law Sunday, making housing discrimination against protected groups a civil rights violation. The law makes firing an employee who rents housing to a minority a violation.

Using threats, coercion, intimidation or racial slurs to prevent someone from getting housing also is a hate crime.

The second bill extends hate crime legislation to using electronic communication to harass someone because of his or her race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sex or sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.

“A hate crime is a hate crime in any way, shape, or form. Every person has the right to dignity under the law,” said Blagojevich.

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