Na­tional cam­paign launched to bring hate crime law to Ge­or­gia

Anti-Defama­tion League an­nounces cam­paign on an­niver­sary of no­to­ri­ous Ge­or­gia lynch­ing

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

By PA­TRICK SAUN­DERS

Ge­or­gia is one of five states in the na­tion with­out a hate crime law, and the Anti-Defama­tion League (ADL) has an­nounced a cam­paign to rem­edy that and bring that num­ber down to zero.

The 50 States Against Hate cam­paign was launched on Au­gust 17 and will work to­ward pas­sage of hate crime laws in Arkansas, Ge­or­gia, In­di­ana, South Carolina and Wy­oming while also strength­en­ing ex­ist­ing hate crime laws in the other 45 states.

The an­nounce­ment came at a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of the lynch­ing of Leo Frank, a Jewish man dragged from his jail cell and mur­dered af­ter a trial that many his­to­ri­ans now say was awash in anti-Semitism. The com­mem­o­ra­tion was at­tended by LGBT ally U.S. Rep. John Lewis, for­mer Ge­or­gia Gover­nor Roy Barnes and cur­rent Ge­or­gia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Sam Olens.

“The re­cent hate-based mur­ders in Charleston by a white su­prem­a­cist are a wake-up call that the time is now to bring strong hate crime laws to all 50 states—in­clud­ing South Carolina and Ge­or­gia, which lack them en­tirely,” said Jonathan A. Green­blatt, ADL Na­tional Di­rec­tor, in a state­ment.

Aside from the five states that have no hate crime law at all, only 32 state hate crime laws in­clude sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, 31 in­clude dis­abil­ity, 29 in­clude gen­der and only 11 in­clude gen­der iden­tity.

“For the mem­ory of the Charleston 9, for the mem­ory of Leo Frank, for the mem­o­ries of thou­sands who have lost their lives or have had their lives changed by a hate crime, we must cor­rect this wrong,” Mr. Green­blatt said. “We must pass a hate crime law here in Ge­or­gia, and we must strengthen the pro­tec­tions in all 50 states.”

The cam­paign will fo­cus on ad­vanc­ing four key goals, in­clud­ing stronger laws, bet­ter train­ing, im­proved data col­lec­tion and in­creased com­mu­nity aware­ness and re­port­ing.

ADL has con­vened nu­mer­ous lo­cal and na­tional civil rights groups to sup­port the ini­tia­tive, in­clud­ing many LGBT groups. Lo­cally, the statewide LGBT ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion Ge­or­gia Equal­ity and Jewish LGBT rights or­ga­ni­za­tion SO­JOURN have signed on to the ef­fort, and the na­tional LGBT groups in­clude Gay & Les­bian Ad­vo­cates and De­fend­ers, Hu­man Rights Cam­paign and PFLAG Na­tional.

Bran­don White was the vic­tim of an anti-gay hate crime in south At­lanta in 2012. (File photo)

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