Reexamining Pennsylvania’s hate crime law

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Guests: Brian Sims, Stacey Sobel, Ann Pellegrini

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has  pressed charges against two men and one woman in connection with the Sept. 11 assault on a gay couple in Center City.  The case has renewed calls to expand Pennsylvania’s hate crime law to people based on their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.  The Commonwealth’s existing hate crimes law covers race, religion color and national origin.  Today on Radio Times we’ll talk about the need for such legislation on the state and national level, its history in Pennsylvania, and its purpose as a prosecutorial tool and a deterrence to crime targeting specific groups of people. Our guests are State Representative BRIAN SIMS, who is leading the call for reform, law professor STACEY SOBEL, former executive director of Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, and New York University professor ANN PELLEGRINI, co-author of “You Can Tell Just By Looking” and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People.

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