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The term hate crime is of recent origin, dating from the late 1980s. Hate crimes constitute a class of criminal offense, defined by a country's laws, in which violence and other forms of aggression are perpetrated knowingly against members of a stereotyped minority group. While it is assumed that hatred is the principal cause of this aggression, it would be more accurate to categorize these actions as bias-motivated crimes. In the United States, bias crimes have long been recognized, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 offered protection based on an individual's race, color, religion, or national origin. From a modern perspective, sexual orientation is an omission from this federal list of protection. Any minority group whose members share a detectable attribute is a potential ...

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