hate crime

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Hate crime is a criminal act motivated by another person's (usually the victim's) race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It is also called a bias crime. Hate crime can be a crime committed against a person, property, or society. 

Hate crime has been defined in detail in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, 18 U.S. Code § 249.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]