ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nativity scenes, menorahs and other outdoor religious displays just got some more protection from vandals in New York.

A new law makes it a felony in New York to deface the displays and cemeteries outside of houses of worship.

State Senator Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx and Westchester said the law was aimed at protecting the sacredness of property outside. Defacing scrolls, vestments and other religious items inside a house of worship is already a felony.

Klein, who is Jewish, says the law is aimed at vandals who previously faced only a misdemeanor for damaging outdoor items.

The new law is a Class E felony for damage over $100. It would be punishable by more than a year in prison.

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