- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Senate panel has advanced a bill that would make it a hate crime in Iowa to commit an offense against a person because that person identifies as transgender.

Three lawmakers from the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed unanimously Tuesday to advance the bill. It must pass out of the full committee by Friday to meet a legislative deadline and stay alive this session.

The bill would make it a hate crime if an offense is committed against a person or their property because of the person’s gender identity or gender expression. Current language in Iowa code includes multiple characteristics, including sexual orientation.

The panel agreed to amend the bill to ensure some of its language mirrors state and federal laws. It had no registered opposition as of Tuesday.

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