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NC congresswoman calls gay death case a `hoax’

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RALEIGH — A North Carolina congresswoman under fire for calling a gay man’s beating death a “hoax” says she should have selected her words more carefully.

Republican Rep. Virginian Foxx said during debate in the U.S. House that the Matthew Shepard case behind a hate crimes bill was a hoax. Foxx said Shepard wasn’t killed in 1998 because he was gay but because he was involved in a robbery.

The bill approved by the House would expand a federal hate crimes law to include acts motivated by sexual orientation.

Foxx later called her comments “a poor choice of words.”

Gay rights supporters were critical of Foxx. Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis said Foxx’s comments were “unreal, unbelievable.”

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A North Carolina congresswoman under fire for calling a gay man’s beating death a “hoax” says she should have selected her words more carefully.

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