Justice Dept. Prepares for New Hate Crimes Laws

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The Obama administration is preparing to enforce new hate crimes laws expected to be approved by Congress soon.

Tom Perez, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, says he will fight discrimination against homosexuals.

Usually, the division only pursues cases based on race, gender or religion.

Perez, however, said he wants to "ensure that there's a level playing field in which our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered brothers and sisters are judged by the content of their character."

That worries conservative groups like Focus on the Family who say it promotes homosexuality and could threaten religious freedom.

"The rights of people of faith who adhere to a biblical view of sexuality should not be crushed under the Obama administration's political promises to homosexual activists," the pro-family group said in a statement.

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