LGBT community speaks out on Alabama's hate crimes laws - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

LGBT community speaks out on Alabama's hate crimes laws

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You've probably seen these pictures of a badly beaten woman on facebook or on the news. Mallory Owens is a lesbian. She was attacked thanksgiving day by the brother of her girlfriend. The attack is under investigation as a possible hate crime. The victim doesn't call that.

Several members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community admit they don't know the motive behind the attack. But they fear if it was because of her sexual orientation, Owens will not be protected under Alabama's current laws.

According to reports from the FBI, the number of hate crimes remained steady between 2009 and 2010. In 2010, 19 percent of hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation. Mobile district attorney Ashley Rich says Owens' attacker is charged with second degree assault.

Owens recently came out saying she was not attacked because of her sexual orientation, but her family believes otherwise. Local members of the LGBT community say the laws should be broadened to include their community regardless of the outcome of this case.

Representative Patricia Todd has tried and failed in the past to have the laws broadened to include sexual orientation. Members of the gay community say there is another representative planning on bringing up again in the next session.

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