Thursday, June 3, 2010

Help Pass legislation to help victims of Hate crimes. Email your NYS Senator today

Pass legislation that would help victims of bias related crimes. This legislation has passed in the NYS Assembly. It will be voted on in the NYS Senate soon. Email your NYS Senator today and urge her/him to vote YES!

Help Pass Legislation that would allow victims of bias related crimes to get justice in civil courts.

Take Action!
Help us Pass Important Legislation
S5923 (Parker /A529 (Destito)

This legislation has already been passed in the NYS Assembly. It's time for the NYS Senate to follow.

Call or email your New York State Senator today. Urge them to vote yes on S5923/A529. This legislation is an act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to providing a civil remedy for victims of bias-related violence or intimidations

Currently, there exists no civil remedy for victims of bias-related acts. This bill would provide the vehicle necessary for someone to initiate a civil action against a perpetrator of bias-related violence or intimidation.

This would amend the civil rights law by adding a new section 79-n, which established a civil remedy for bias related violence. It also gives definitions for "disability', "age", "sexual orientation" and  "gender". Further, the bill provides that any person who intentionally causes damage to the property of another or causes physical injury or death to another because of a belief or perception regarding that person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation shall be liable in a civil action or proceeding maintained by such individual or group, or by the New York State Attorney General for injunctive relief, damages, any other appropriate relief in law or equity. The bill would also allow a court to award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing plaintiff.

There has been a widespread rise in bias-related crimes in recent years in New York State and across our nation. In the last few years, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith reported 1,685 anti-Semitic incidents, the highest total in 12 years, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported 7,031 incidents of anti-gay violence in 1989. In 1992, according to the FBI more than 7,600 hate crimes were reported. In New York State, the Division of Criminal Justice Services reported that in 1994, with only 11 % of State Law enforcement agencies reporting, 997 acts of bias related nonviolence or intimidation occurred.
New York has criminalized acts of violence and intimidation motivated by hate. This bill would provide a civil remedy to victims of hate crimes in addition to any possible criminal prosecution.

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