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A Great Victory for Utah: Hate Crime Bill Passes Utah Legislature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2019

 

A GREAT VICTORY FOR UTAH: HATE CRIME BILL PASSES UTAH LEGISLATURE

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Utah State Legislature took an important step toward protecting Utahns and their freedom. SB103 Victim Targeting Penalty Enhancements, otherwise known as the hate crime bill, gained final legislative approval before passing to Governor Gary R. Herbert to be signed into law.
 
SB103 expresses the importance of establishing an enhanced punishment for those that commit crimes based on an individual’s race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or identity and recognizes the unique impact these heinous crimes have on our communities. This new statute does not favor some over others or seek to punish speech or thought. All Utahns deserve protection from crimes motivated by hate and the freedom to express their individuality.
 
“Today is a great day for every person or family who’s ever been afraid to leave their house due to hate. It’s a historic day for every parent who has stayed up worrying about whether they should let their kids go to school because of threats or violence. It’s an unforgettable day for every person who has been victimized because of who they are,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes.

Congratulations to Senator Thatcher and Representative Perry, Leadership in the Senate and House, and all others who made this possible. Many of us have worked for years to get a bill like this passed. Legislators and supporters who passed prior hate enhancements under Utah law also deserve credit and helped build toward this day.

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NOTES:

  1. Attorney General Reyes and Seth Brysk’s op-ed on SB103: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900058463/guest-opinion-utahs-hate-crimes-law-would-protect-everyone-here-are-the-facts.html
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