Senate approves expansion of hate crimes legislation

The big hurdle facing hate crimes legislation in the Senate as been overcome. In a 60-39 vote to proceed to adoption, the Senate approved the Kennedy amendment which adds sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to the existing hate crimes legislation.

Among the Republicans that crossed the aisle to move the legislation forward. (Roll Call here):

John Warner
Richard Lugar
Susan Collins
Olympia Snowe
George Voinovich
Arlen Specter
Norm Coleman
Judd Gregg
Gordon Smith (co-sponsor)

Kennedy then asked for a voice vote on the amendment and that subsequently passed.

The measure is part of the defense reauthorization bill, which is slated to go up for a vote in the near future.

As you might imagine, Diaper Dave Vitter voted no, as did Toe Tapping Larry Craig.

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