Republicans Kill Hate Crime Bill on Party Line Vote
Today, the Republican controlled Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed SB 799 a bill I introduced to address the perpetration of hate crimes against LGBT individuals. SB 799 included within the definition of “hate crime” a criminal act committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification for purposes of reporting to the state police.
Sexual orientation alone accounted for 20% of the total number of hate crimes in 2013, according to the latest Hate Crime Statistics report. Half of LGBT respondents to an Equality Virginia survey said they had experienced hate violence or harassment. In the LGBT population, 18% live in states with hate crime laws that do not cover sexual orientation and gender identity - including Virginia. There are an estimated 183,545 Virginians who identify as LGBT and would be affected by sexual and gender orientation inclusion into hate crime law.
What will it take to ensure that all Virginians gain equal protection? I am deeply disappointed by the actions of the Republicans who voted against this measure, on a party line vote. It’s a sad day for the LGBT community, and for all Virginians.
I look forward to continuing to support equal protection for all Virginians, and thank you for your support.