The Senate will take up S. 909, a "hate crimes" bill already passed by the House, next week.
"Hate crimes" laws in other countries, particularly Canada and the UK, are having unintended consequences, as are some local ordinances in the U.S. Rather than responding to manifest criminal actions, the laws are used to suppress freedoms such as assembly, speech and religion.
The new law claims to create special protections for citizens based on "sexual orientation." Curiously, FBI statistics show that the overwhelming majority of ideologically motivated crimes are based on race, with the next largest group of victims targeted for their religion.
More information on S. 909 is here.