Support for beefing up hate-crime law could be faltering

Support for beefing up hate-crime law could be faltering

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal to strengthen hate-crimes legislation in Utah could be faltering.

Republican Senate President Stuart Adams said Friday it doesn’t yet have broad support in the GOP caucus. State lawmakers say concerns remain about which groups would have protections and whether the measure would be broad enough.

The idea has been stuck in a legislative logjam for years after the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints raised questions about how it dealt with protections for LGBT people, but it had been gathering momentum after an allegedly racially motivated beating of a Latino man.

The church said it doesn’t oppose strengthening the law, and the governor expressed support for the idea.

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