SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A hate crime bill could move forward in the Utah State Legislature.
After sitting stagnant in committee, State Senator Daniel Thatcher’s bill, S.B. 103, will get a hearing Thursday in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee.
The bill would give harsher penalties to people found guilty of a hate crime, which is determined if “the offender acted against an individual because of the offender’s perception of the individual’s ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Thatcher said this bill does not affect an individual’s constitutional right of free speech or any other constitutional rights. “If you commit a crime, and we can prove, beyond reasonable doubt that you intentionally and deliberately did it to threaten a community, you should be punished more severely.”
The senator has been trying to get his bill passed for years but hasn’t been able to garner enough support on the Hill.
To read the Thatcher’s bill in its entirety, click here.