Friday, March 12, 2010

Take Action: Help Pass LGBT-Inclusive Hate Crimes Legislation in Pennsylvania!

PA House of Representatives Vote on Hate Crimes Bill (HB 745)

Late last year, House Bill 745, an LGBT-inclusive Hate Crimes Bill passed the PA House Judiciary Committee with massive bipartisan support in an 18-8 vote!

In just a few weeks, a FULL Pennsylvania House of Representatives floor vote is expected on House Bill 745.

NOW is the time to step up the pressure on our State Representatives. HB 745 would amend the Title 18 Ethnic Intimidation Act to define crimes against individuals based on “actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity” as ethnic intimidation, or hate crimes.

Passing House Bill 745 would add the above listed groups as protected classes of Pennsylvanians, classes that are not protected on the state level from hate crimes and violence.

Now is more important than ever to CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE serving in the PA House and tell them to vote in favor of HB 745!

From 2006 to 2007 hate violence in the state of Pennsylvania has increased by 28 percent.

Since 2001, over 430 Pennsylvanians have called Equality Advocates PA to report acts of hate violence. The rise in violence inflicted on those under the age of eighteen has more than doubled. Both the state and federal government have consistently failed to uphold their responsibility to put an end to the surge in violence and ensure that all citizens receive the protection they need.

According to one FBI report, current attacks on LGBT individuals are under-reported by at least 33%

Hate crimes legislation would encourage victims of hate violence to report the attacks. Equality Advocates PA received fifty-four calls from hate crimes victims in just one year.

Most importantly, 73% of the American people support hate crimes legislation.

They support strengthening laws to give local law enforcement, police and sheriff's departments the tools and resources they need to prevent and prosecute these heinous acts.

Take Action HERE

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