HARRISBURG, Sept. 23, 2014 – Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione today stood with advocates and fellow state lawmakers as they called for immediate action to expand Pennsylvania’s hate crimes statute to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens.

“We cannot sit idly as people attack our relatives and neighbors because they disagree with their sexual orientation,” Tartaglione said. “Too many people are being attacked and/or killed because of these hate crimes. We must do more. We need to bring them under this protective umbrella.”

The General Assembly’s Equality Caucus, Equality PA and many advocates rallied in the Capitol this morning to urge the adoption of Senate Bill 42 and House Bill 177 and expand the state’s hate crimes law.

Specifically, the legislation would extend Title 18 language under the ethnic intimidation clause of Chapter 27 to include ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

“We urged the adoption of these bills today because we are outraged by the Sept. 11 attack in Philly of two gay men,” Tartaglione said. “But we are as equally outraged by all of the hateful attacks against the LGBT community, and we can no longer just talk about doing something.

“We need the Republican-controlled committees that are holding SB 42 and HB 177 to bring them up for a vote, move them to their respective floors, and finally deliver.”

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