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PA Rep. Brendan Boyle Says Hate Crime Bill Could Pass As Early As Tomorrow, Rally Planned at Capitol

A bill that would expand Pennsylvania's hate crimes statutes to include LGBT citizens could pass the state legislature as early as tomorrow, claims Democratic State Rep. Brendan Boyle - the legislator who introduced the bill last year.

BoylePhiladelphia reports:

"Since it's been introduced and co-sponsored and referred to committee, it could get final passage as early as Tuesday," says Boyle, who has called a Harrisburg press conference on the subject for 11 a.m. Tuesday morning with State Representative Larry Farnese. [...]

"It has been a year-and-a-half since I introduced it, and the Republican leadership has shown no willingness to move any piece of legislation that touches sexual orientation," Boyle says. "But in the wake of this event, there's a better chance of it happening now than months from now, when this issue will have receded from the news."

Boyle also said he's spoken to a number of GOP legislators who indicated they would support the bill's passage.

The Tuesday press conference will coincide with a rally planned in the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda to advocate for the bill's passage. The renewed push for the hate crimes bill came after a a brutal attack on a gay couple September 11th in Center City, Philadelphia.

Previously, "PA Rep. Brian Sims Says He'll Bring Philly Gay Bash Victims to Capitol to Pass Hate Crime Law" [tlrd]


Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Wolf Weighs in on Philadelphia Gay Bashing

Tom wolf

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, who is challenging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on the ballot this November, has released a statement in response to last week's brutal attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia. 

Said Wolf:

The recent vicious attack perpetrated on two men in Philadelphia is incomprehensible and those responsible should be severely punished. We, as a society and a community, cannot stand for these assaults on our individual freedoms. No one, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation, should ever have to live in fear of walking down the street.

AttackWilliam Penn founded Pennsylvania on the basis of fairness and tolerance and, I believe, we must continue to be a place that pays faithful tribute to those good values. I know that all people – regardless of sexual orientation – should be treated equally under the law. As governor, I will work to level the playing field by promoting legislation like House Bill 300 that makes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression a protected class and House Bill 745 that amends Title 18 of the Ethnic Intimidation Act to include sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. And I will be a vocal advocate for the right of all Pennsylvanians to be treated with dignity and respect.

I wish a full and speedy recovery for the two victims, and I hope the people responsible will be brought to justice swiftly.

Sexual orientation is currently not included in the state's hate crimes statues. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has already pledged to bring the victims to the state legislature and try to pass a sexual orientation-inclusive hate crimes bill. Sims will also help organize a public rally next Thursday to "support the victim and call for the passage of hate crime legislation." 

Previously, "Philadelphia Archbishop Releases Statement Responding to Catholic Coach's Involvement in Gay Bashing" [tlrd]


Philadelphia Archbishop Releases Statement Responding to Catholic Coach's Involvement in Gay Bashing

Coach

Yesterday, we reported that an assistant basketball coach at a Pennsylvania Catholic high school was fired (technically forced to resign) for his alleged role in the brutal attack on a gay couple last Thursday in Philadelphia that left one victim with facial fractures and a jaw that had to be wired shut. 

Now, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, led by Archbishop Charles Chaput, has released a statement in response to the attack, writing:

Charles chaput"A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not. What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian. A recent beating incident in Center City allegedly involved, in some way, a part-time coach at Archbishop Wood High School. After inquiries by school leadership, the coach was contacted regarding the matter and he resigned. Archbishop Wood's handling of the matter was appropriate, and I support their efforts to ensure that Catholic convictions guide the behavior of their whole school community, including their staff." 

Sexual orientation is currently not included in the state's hate crimes statues. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims has already pledged to bring the victims to the state legislature and try and get a hate crimes bill passed. Sims will also help organize a public rally next Thrusday to "support the victim and call for the passage of hate crime legislation." 


PA Rep. Brian Sims Says He'll Bring Philly Gay Bash Victims to Capitol to Pass Hate Crime Law

Thugs

As we reported earlier, the group charged with assaulting a gay couple in Center City, Philadelphia last Thursday won't be charged with a hate crime because sexual orientation is not included in the state's hate crime statutes.

SimsBut Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims tellsVictor Fiorillo at Philly Mag that he'll bring the victims to the state legislature to try and get a hate crime bill passed that was introduced during the 2013 session.

Sims says that he hasn't yet spoken with the victims of last week's Center City attack of two gay men, simply because he's been told that they need time to heal. "I want them speaking with victims' advocates right now, not with me over policy," he explains. "But we'll find the time. I have to make sure that something comes of this, not just that I'm pissed off."

The bill would add gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical and mental disability to the state's hate crime law.

Hopefully this incident has awakened the public and lawmakers of the need for such additions.


Catholic High School Coach Fired for Alleged Role in Philadelphia Attack On Gay Couple - VIDEO

Philly2

An assistant basketball coach at a Catholic high school has been fired in connection with the brutal attack on a gay couple last Thursday in Philadelphia. Fran McGlinn, who had been serving on a contract basis with Archbishop Wood High School in neighboring Warminster, Pennsylvania, allegedly participated in the beating and robbery that left one victim with facial fractures and a jaw that had to be wired shut.

Said Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdioceses of Philadelphia: "He was terminated this evening and will not be permitted to coach in any archdiocesan school. We expect all those who work with students in our schools to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times."

AttackAnd although no arrests have been made, at least a few of the alleged assailants have been interviewed by investigators - thanks in part to the work of Twitter and Facebook sleuths who helped police identify the attackers. Defense attorneys who represent some of the members of the anti-gay mob are claiming that it was actually the victim who started the fight. 

Watch a CBS Philly report on the developing case, AFTER THE JUMP...

The station adds that attacks based on sexual orientation are not classified as "hate crimes" under Pennsylvania law. This morning, Caryn Kunkle, a spokesperson for the victims in the attack, launched a petition asking lawmakers to amend the state's hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation. 

Continue reading "Catholic High School Coach Fired for Alleged Role in Philadelphia Attack On Gay Couple - VIDEO" »


Twitter Crowdsources Manhunt for Philadelphia Hate-Crime Attackers, Suspects Turn Themselves In: VIDEO

Suspects

Yesterday, we told you about a brutal hate crime that took place in Philadelphia's City Center. Last night, Philadelphia Police released a surveillance video that appeared to show a group of up to 12 people they identified as suspects in the assault. Shortly thereafter, the video spread like wildfire on social media and resulted in the suspects being identified. Philadelphia Magazine reports: 

PhillyWithin hours, former Real Housewives of New Jersey castmate Greg Bennett tweeted this photo [pictured right] that he claims — because of similarities in clothing — includes some of the alleged suspects in the hate crime that happened on Thursday in Center City. 

Not long after, police were contacted by lawyers for the suspects. 6ABC reports: "Late Tuesday night, Action News has learned attorneys for some members of the group have called police. They are making arrangements to bring their clients in for questioning on Wednesday."

Twitter user @FanSince09 also played a pivotal role in identifying the suspects. He was able to identify the restaurant shown in the background of the photo tweeted by Bennett and also used Facebook check-ins to help identify the attackers. 

No arrests have been made, but Philadelphia police are crediting Twitter and social media users with helping to solve this case.

Philadelphia native and NPR social media guru Melody Kramer documented how the crowdsourced Twitter sleuthing went down using Storify. Check out her excellent timeline along with a news report that shows the surveillance video in question and includes an interview with @FanSince09, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Twitter Crowdsources Manhunt for Philadelphia Hate-Crime Attackers, Suspects Turn Themselves In: VIDEO" »


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