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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2014 10:08 AM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr. and Sen. Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reestablishing the Hate Crimes Statute
In the near future we plan to continue the good work of our friend and colleague, Senator Jim Ferlo, by reintroducing Senate Bill 42 to reenact Pennsylvania's Hate Crimes Statute.

Act 143 of 2002 extended the protections under the ethnic intimidation clause of Title 18, Chapter 27 (Assault) to the categories of ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. It also made it clear that all groups under the act were protected from offenses committed for actual or perceived associations. Act 143 of 2002 was declared unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on procedural grounds (Marcavage v. Rendell, 936 A.2d 188 (Pa. Commonwealth 2007)).

In September 2014, two young gay men were brutally attacked in Center City Philadelphia by a large group of young men and women. The attack was preempted by anti-homosexual epithets and ended in the robbery and hospitalization of the victims. Had Pennsylvania's Hate Crime Statute been reenacted at the time of their attack, the penalties of the crimes committed against this couple could have been appropriately increased.

Please join us in reenacting Pennsylvania's hate crimes statute so we can protect all our citizens from crimes of hate and bias.

Introduced as SB96