Rep. Brendan Boyle Says His Hate Crime Bill Could Pass On Tuesday

But we think that the key word here is "could."

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As we all were forced to remember last week, Pennsylvania’s current hate crime law does not offer protections for gay people. But Democratic State Representative Brendan Boyle (pictured), who introduced the 2013 bill that would change that, tells me that he intends to make a push to get his bill passed on Tuesday.

“Since it’s been introduced and co-sponsored and referred to committee, it could get final passage as early as Tuesday,” says Boyle, who has called a Harrisburg press conference on the subject for 11 a.m. Tuesday morning with State Representative Larry Farnese.

When we spoke with Representative Brian Sims last week, he told us that he intends to take the Philadelphia victims with him to Harrisburg next year, because, the way Sims tells it, there’s virtually no chance of anything happening with this bill during the current legislative session, and the next one starts in January. But Boyle isn’t so sure.

“It has been a year-and-a-half since I introduced it, and the Republican leadership has shown no willingness to move any piece of legislation that touches sexual orientation,” Boyle says. “But in the wake of this event, there’s a better chance of it happening now than months from now, when this issue will have receded from the news.”

Boyle also says that he’s heard from Republican legislators who have told him privately that they want to help move the bill forward, but he won’t name names.

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