Testimony Heard for Hate-Crime Legislation

Hearing was Thursday at the Kimmel Center.

The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing on hate-crime legislation Thursday at the Kimmel Center. The recent attack on a gay couple in Center City has renewed calls for the state to provide hate crime protection to gays and lesbians.

Victims, experts, and LGBT leaders testified. Elicia Gonzalez of GALAEI says LGBT people are disproportionately targeted:

“Many gay-bashing crimes are unsolved and many more are unnoticed.”

She says transgender people and people of color are more often victims.

District Attorney Seth Williams testified that crimes legislation means harsher sentences, which sends a message:

“Hate has no place in our state. It must be condemned and it must be prosecuted.”

Democrat Brian Sims, however, added that the panel has an “uphill battle” to produce actual legislation. [CBS Philly]