Today Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims will co-host a Harrisburg rally in support of a statewide hate crimes bill that likely faces slim prospects in the current session. Meanwhile the Philadelphia City Council will today hear a local version of the bill. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown and Councilman Jim Kenney are introducing legislation Thursday in response to the Sep. 11 assault of a same-sex couple in Center City, that would add a hate crime chapter to the city code. If approved, the ordinance would mandate higher penalties for any crime committed against a person because of hatred toward that person’s “perceived sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or disability.” A hate crime violation would add up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000, the ordinance suggests. The ordinance would amend the section of the code that addresses “Regulation of individual conduct and activity,” including ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism. Violation of ethnic intimidation is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and monetary fines for a Class III crime offense. The bill could be amended once it goes to a council committee for hearings.
(Tipped by JMG reader David)