Hate Crimes

March 20, 2017

Incidents of hate including murders, assaults, bomb threats and vandalism have been directed against African-Americans, Hindu-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, Sikh-Americans, transgender women and others across America, including Connecticut.

When someone becomes the target of a crime because of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability, we must take action. We cannot stand by idly.

Together with my colleagues I am supporting legislation that would not only toughen the state’s hate crime laws, but also make them the strongest in the nation.

Among other provisions, the legislation would:

  • Increase penalties, making it a felony, instead of a misdemeanor, for committing a hate crime
  • Increase the penalty to a Class C felony (from a Class D felony) for making a bomb threat or other threat of violence against a house of worship, religious community center or other religious institution — or any daycare facility — if the threat is made with the intent to terrorize
  • Increase the penalty for desecrating any house of worship or any religious cemetery
  • Establish a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 for individuals convicted of hate crimes, and require such fines to be deposited into a fund for anti-hate crime education initiatives.