Hate Crimes Bill Still in Committee
[HARRISBURG, PA] - A bill that would amend Pennsylvania's hate-crimes law to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and other categories remains in the state House of Representative's Judiciary Committee.
The state Senate has approved the bill, and supporters want the state House or Representatives to vote on the proposal. But the full House of Representatives cannot do so until the bill is released from committee.
If the state House of Representatives does not vote on the measure by Dec. 31, the state Senate's approval will be nullified, and the process must begin anew.
"We're asking that the bill be released by the committee as quickly as possible," said Stacey Sobel, executive director of The Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights.
The bill would provide enhanced criminal penalties for persons who commit crimes on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental and physical disability, and ancestry.