Do hate-crime laws really protect the LGBT community?

 

NoHateWe recently saw some of the quickest and most efficient action I’ve seen in a while when Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously voted (17-0) to pass an ordinance that imposes punishments for violent attacks based on gender identity, sexual orientation or disability status. Mayor Michael Nutter summarily signed it into law. The measure was in response to the vicious antigay attack perpetrated this past fall, when as many as 15 people physically assaulted a gay couple in Rittenhouse, hurling antigay slurs. (more…)

Changing the State of Hate-Crime Laws in Pennsylvania

tumblr_madb5cLO0b1rdh3oho1_500On Sept. 11, two gay men, ages 27 and 28, were brutally gay-bashed, allegedly by a group of young people who were dining earlier that evening at La Viola in Philadelphia. The two men went to the hospital with injuries, one with a broken jaw that needed to be wired shut, all of which police say was preceded by disparaging remarks about their sexual orientation. Since then, it has been a whirlwind; after two weeks of investigation and through the help of social media, three of the alleged 15 assailants were charged with crimes associated with the incident—simple assault, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy—but shockingly, hate crimes are missing among the charges listed. (more…)

Charge the recent attackers of gay men with federal hate crimes

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Last Thursday, two gay men, ages 27 and 28, were brutally gay-bashed allegedly by a group of young people who were dining earlier that evening at La Viola. Today, Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office asking the Department of Justice to partner with the city’s D.A. and police to investigate. Kenney asked in his letter that authorities bring federal charges, under the Federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. (more…)