City Council to Hear Testimony on Hate Crimes Bill Today
City Council today will hear testimony on a bill that would create a “hate crime” designation when an offender is found to be motivated against a victim’s sexual orientation. It was sparked by the Center City beating of a gay couple.
Before Council’s Public Safety Committee is a measure that boosts the penalties for a variety of crimes when the offender is found to be motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Right now neither the city’s code of personal conduct nor the state criminal code have special provisions for hate crimes. Under this bill, anyone convicted would have 90 days added on to the jail term imposed for the crime itself, and up to a $2,000 fine.
Council will also hear testimony on two other bills: One increases penalties to merchants who sell BB guns to minors; the other makes it a crime to sell toys that look like real guns.