Standing up against hate crimes

It’s unacceptable that Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law does not protect mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity or someone’s actual or perceived ancestry.

I’m committed to changing that, and this week I signaled my intention to introduce legislation that would provide those protections and expand the state hate crimes law beyond its current, inadequate limits.

The proposed legislation is similar to House Bill 505, which I also am co-sponsoring. H.B. 505, which awaits consideration before the House Judiciary Committee, says that a crime motivated by hatred toward someone’s sexual orientation, ancestry, gender or disability would be graded one degree higher than already specified in law.

Updating Pennsylvania’s statutes to protect our citizens from crimes of hate and bias is long overdue.

As always, if you have any questions, comments and/or concerns, my office is here to help. Please do not hesitate to call or reach out. We’re here for you!