The National Organization for Women welcomed the introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law that will penalize and help to prevent hate-based violent crimes.
Current federal hate crimes laws limit the definition of hate crimes to those motivated by bias based on race, color, religion or national origin. This law will finally classify as hate crimes certain violent, criminal acts that are motivated by the victim's gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
NOW President Kim Gandy said, "We know that hate crimes are more than individual assaults -- they send waves of shock and fear throughout an entire community and through segments of our diverse population. Hate violence also sends two messages to the targeted group: 'not knowing your place is dangerous' and 'your kind is not welcome here.'"
Gandy especially applauded the bill for its inclusion of disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation among its classification categories.
"This law will help to prosecute, reduce, and hopefully eliminate, such hate-based crimes," she concluded.