Because of her skin color. Because of his religion. Because he’s disabled. Because she’s transgender.
When a person is targeted by violence for any of these reasons, a hate crime has occurred. Hate crimes intimidate not only the victims, but the community to which they belong.
In Utah, we adopted our first hate crimes law in 1992. But it's time to make the law stronger. Why? The law makes no mention of hatred, bias, or prejudice based on specific characteristics, such as the victim's race.
In fact, the law makes no mention of "bias" or "prejudice" at all. Without explicitly saying what is prohibited, our law is unable to protect anyone.
Hate crimes are different than other crimes because they not only terrorize the victim, but the community that the victim represents. When we see on the news that a member of our group has been attacked for who they are, we worry that we are at risk.
While the crimes themselves can be prosecuted, our laws currently provide no justice for the community that has been attacked. A stronger hate crimes law will equip prosecutors with the tools needed to protect Utahns from hate crimes.
- Download Equailty Utah's information sheet on hate crimes
- ADL: 50 States Against Hate
- FBI: Hate crime statistics
- HRC: Hate Crimes