Philadelphia City Council Passes Hate Crimes Bill

The bill adding sexual orientation, gender identify and disability to the list of hate crimes passed unanimously.

Philadelphia City Council today unanimously passed a hate crimes bill that adds additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hate for someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The bill was introduced after the assault on a gay couple in Center City last month.

Pennsylvania does not include sexual orientation in its hate crimes law.

Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jim Kenney introduced the bill. “Philadelphia is known all over the world as a city that celebrates and values diversity and we will not allow a few thugs to tarnish that reputation,” Reynolds Brown said in a statement. “It is shameful that this legislation is necessary in 2014.”

Read the full text of the bill below.

§ 10-2201. Definitions.

(1) Hate crime. Commission of an offense under Title 18, Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide), Chapter 27 (relating to assault), Chapter 29 (relating to kidnapping), Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses), Chapter 33 (relating to arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction), or Section 3503 (relating to criminal trespass) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, against an individual or group of individuals or the property of an individual or group, accompanied by malicious intent as defined in subsection (2) hereof.

(2) Malicious intent. The intent to commit any act, the commission of which is a necessary element of any offense referred to in subsection (1) above, motivated by hatred toward the actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or disability, as such terms are defined by § 9-1102 of this Code, of another individual or group of individuals.
§ 10-2202. Prohibited Conduct.

(1) No person shall commit a hate crime against another individual or group of individuals.
§ 10-2203. Penalties.

(1) Violation of this Chapter is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to ninety (90) days, and a monetary fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000).