Hate-Crimes Bill Being Proposed in Georgia
Local News2018 General Assembly Session

Hate-Crimes Bill Being Proposed in Georgia

Republican Meagan Hanson is filing legislation in the Georgia House with the support of the ADL.

Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven)
Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven)

Rep. Meagan Hanson plans to pre-file hate-crimes legislation for this year’s General Assembly session, which opens Monday, Jan. 8.

The first-term Brookhaven Republican is scheduled to hold a Capitol press conference about the bill Wednesday morning, Jan. 3, with Anti-Defamation League Southeast Regional Director Allison Padilla-Goodman.

ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt launched the organization’s 50 States Against Hate initiative to promote hate-crimes laws as one of his first actions in August 2015 when he appeared in Atlanta at an event commemorating the centennial of the lynching of Leo Frank.

Georgia is one of five states without a hate-crimes law, a situation that emerged as a priority for the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism at its first meeting in March.

Georgia enacted such a law in 2000 with strong support from the Jewish community, but the state Supreme Court threw it out in 2004 for being too vague in defining a hate crime. Subsequent efforts to pass hate-crimes legislation foundered over LGBTQ inclusion.

Hanson told the Reporter Newspapers that her bill will include protections for people targeted for crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Jan. 3 press conference unveiling the legislation is due to include law enforcement officials and representatives of the Coalition for a Hate-Free Georgia, a group put together by the ADL.

Coalition for a Hate-Free Georgia Members

American Jewish Committee
Anti-Defamation League
Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition
Bend the Arc
Central Outreach and Advocacy Center
Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta
Feminist Women’s Health Center
Georgia Equality
Georgia Alliance for Social Justice
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials
Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Georgia Rural Urban Summit
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta
Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon
National Council of Jewish Women
Presbyterians for a Better Georgia
Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia
Tzedek Georgia

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