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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 3, 2013 03:02 PM
From: Representative Brendan F. Boyle
To: All House members
Subject: Hate Crimes
 
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to amend 2710 of the Pennsylvania Crime Code expanding the offense of ethnic intimidation to include malicious intention against the actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity of another individual or group of individuals. A crime motivated by hatred towards these protected classes shall be graded one degree higher than already specified in law. A summary offense shall be graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree. The offense of ethnic intimidation is already defined to include malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of an individual or group of individuals.

As you may know, Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law had protected individuals based on their actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Act 143 of 2002 was unconstitutional on July 23, 2008, and this language was removed from the Crimes Code. The Court’s ruling had nothing to do with the merits of the hate crimes law; rather, the decision finds that the original bill, House Bill 1493, was amended so as to change its original purpose; therefore, the enactment of House Bill 1493, violated Article III Section I of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Two sessions ago, Rep. Shapiro introduced a similar bill that passed the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.

A list of co-sponsors to the previous legislation is below:

Former House Bill 1372 of 2011-2012 – INTRODUCED BY SHAPIRO, B. BOYLE, K. BOYLE, BRADFORD, BRENNAN, BRIGGS, V. BROWN, BUXTON, CARROLL, D. COSTA, CRUZ, DALEY, DAVIS, DePASQUALE, DONATUCCI, GEORGE, JOHNSON, JOSEPHS, KIRKLAND, MAHONEY, MANN, McGEEHAN, MULLERY, MUNDY, MURT, M. O'BRIEN, PARKER, PASHINSKI, READSHAW, ROEBUCK, ROSS, SANTARSIERO, SANTONI, K. SMITH, M. SMITH, STURLA, THOMAS, WATERS, WHEATLEY AND YOUNGBLOOD,

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Laurie Fouse-Miller in my office.



Introduced as HB177