Will LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes legislation reduce the violence?

Will LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes legislation reduce the violence?

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Jack Connell
fishmonger | South Philadelphia
“Yes. Normally I feel the fewer laws, the better. But in this case I think it’s a good thing. But the law should be fully implemented. Hate crimes harm the entire queer community. I also think the court should allow community-impact statements at sentencing.”

John Paul Beattie
musician | Rittenhouse Square
“No. I’m not a gay basher or racist, but hate-crimes laws are a step backward. They just promote more hate because they piss people off. It doesn’t create harmony to give one group of people special treatment, and not the other [group]. We need equal treatment under the law.”

Jake Ryan Sullivan
student | Roxborough
“No. It’s too much of a stretch to make that connection. Most people who commit hate crimes wouldn’t care about the legal consequences. LGBT outreach and education programs probably would be more effective, rather than the iron hand of the law.”

Gilbert Smith
medical student | Fairmount
“No. People will be violent no matter what. Actually, I’m for an LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes law in Pennsylvania, because our community needs the recognition. But at this point, it would just be a start. It would be more symbolic than practical.”

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