Hate Has No Home in PA

Contact your Senator to support updated hate crimes laws!
Fight Hate UnsplashTree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Club Q in Colorado Springs. Tops grocery store in Buffalo. The spa shootings in Atlanta. The  Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. The Pulse bar in Orlando. The list goes on and on and on.
The FBI’s most recent report on hate crimes revealed not only a decade high in the number of crimes committed, but that offenses were more violent than in previous years.The PA Human Relations Commission released its annual report earlier this year, citing that hate crimes in PA doubled from 2019 to 2020, and that in 2021 Pennsylvania had “the highest incidents of white supremacist propaganda distribution of any state in the country.” With incidents of both antisemitism and Islamophobia on the rise in recent weeks in response to the Israel-Hamas War, legislation that holds offenders of violent hate crimes responsible, and give victims and their loved ones increased support and resources is more crucial than ever.
We can - we must - do better. 

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton recently released a video statement in response to rising violence and hatred toward Jewish, Palestinian, and Muslim communities in the United States. She encourages Lutherans to "raise awareness in our congregations and communities about countering hate, discrimination and bias, and offer a swift and clear response to hate speech bigotry and violence when it occurs." Pennsylvania Lutherans can respond to this call by adding your voice and support for robust hate crime legislation. 

Contact your state senator and urge them to support a slate of bills to strengthen protections and resources for combatting hate in the Commonwealth. See below for specific bills and check to see how your House representative voted. If they supported these, send them a note of thanks!
ELCA social teaching encourages us to build a society where all are treated with dignity and respect. While we cannot legislate what is in people's hearts, we can make sure adequate consequences are in place for those who act in hate-filled ways, and that vulnerable communities are well protected and cared for by our laws. See the following for more: Social Statement on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture; Social Statement on Human Sexuality; Social Message on Community Violence.

Details on the legislation:
HB1027 would strengthen Pennsylvania’s “ethnic intimidation” criminal penalty language and step up civil penalties on those who target individuals or groups because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability of an individual or group of individuals. It would also provide tools to fight civil rights violations such as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against continued violators and people who solicit or provide aid to such violators.

To see how your representative voted, check here, and then send them a thank you note if they voted “Yes."

HB1024 would provide Pennsylvania’s law enforcement with the training they need to properly investigate, identify and report crimes of ethnic intimidation.

To see how your representative voted, check here, and then send them a thank you note if they voted “Yes."

HB1025 would require schools and postsecondary institutions to offer online and anonymous hate crime reporting options for students and employees. It will also encourage training for school employees in identifying and addressing hate incidents.

To see how your representative voted, check here, and then send them a thank you note if they voted “Yes."


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