Change PA Hate Crime Law to include Sexual Orientation
In Pennsylvania, LGBT community members are not legally protected by state law because sexual orientation isn’t included under its hate crime definition. My petition seeks to change that.
On the evening of September 11 in Center City Philadelphia, two of my good friends were viciously attacked by a group of 15 boys and girls because they are gay. After asking the two young men if they were a couple, the group assaulted and robbed them while repeatedly calling them "dirty f*ggots." One of my friends was beaten so badly that police initially thought he was dead from a gunshot wound- due to his unconscious state and the amount of blood coming from his head.
This gap in legislative protection is a gross failure to protect and serve people like my friends who were savagely attacked PRIMARILY FOR THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. My friends are traumatized but not defeated. They never want this to happen to anyone again. And I won’t standby so I am demanding that the Pennsylvania state legislators act now to pass a law for a hate crime to include sexual orientation in its definition.
According to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, a hate crime “is an act motivated by prejudice or bias. To be a hate crime, the act must be criminal - not a mere expression of an intolerant opinion.” Given the initial “Is that your f*cking boyfriend?” question and the constant use of anti-gay slurs during the attack, there can be no doubt that the motivation in this case was prejudice based on sexual orientation.
Now it’s time for the state to get its act together. Despite three years of trying to make this change, legislators haven’t been able to get it done. Bills are pending in the state House and Senate, but no action has been taken. Today is the day that we get our state leaders to pass this law. Please sign my petition and help to get this critical law passed immediately.
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Caryn Kunkle needs your help with “Pennsylvania Governor: Change PA Hate Crime Law to include Sexual Orientation”. Join Caryn and 95,292 supporters today.