Hate Crime Legislation Progresses Following Weekend Assault

Feb 19, 2019, 7:26 PM | Updated: 7:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Three days after a gay man shot video of an assault against himself outside a Main Street bar in Salt Lake City, legislators are closer to a debate on hate crimes legislation.

For the first time since hate crimes legislation was introduced four years ago, the bill will get a fair debate in committee.

The community has rallied in support of that victim, who was attacked Saturday. Police hope to interview the suspect soon and move forward with their investigation.  Right now, no specific charges are under consideration.

Republican lawmakers emerged from their caucus meeting at the State Capitol today optimistic they will pass a victim targeting bill that would enhance the penalties in crimes like this one.

Supporters of Senate Bill 103 said there are two victims in a hate crime like the assault Saturday: the person themselves and the community they represent. They said a hate crime is a targeted crime not based on what the victim has done, but who they are.

The bill sponsor, republican State Senator Daniel Thatcher, said it has been a difficult and long road to get to a committee hearing on his victim targeting legislation. He said it is still a long road ahead.

“We still have a long way to go, but we have overcome the largest hurdle,“ said Thatcher.

If passed, the law would enhance penalties for a crime if the offender acted against an individual because of the offender’s perception of the individual for any of the following:

  • ancestry
  • disability
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • national origin
  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation

Penalties would also be enhanced if the criminal offense damages property based on those same perceptions. The bill would not affect an individual’s constitutional right of free speech, according to supporters.

“When you have a criminal action that is specifically perpetrated for the purpose of threatening or intimidating someone from engaging in their constitutional rights, then we have an obligation as a government to step up and do something about it,” said Thatcher

State Senator Derek Kitchen understands the sting of a targeted, hate crime. The restaurant he owns with his husband was targeted for a hate crime last week.

Kitchen told KSL in a text that it’s time for a public debate and he’s glad the legislation will finally get a hearing.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

hospital sign as part of Utah's safe haven...

Shara Park

Utah’s Safe Haven law offers help to frightened pregnant women

Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services wants frightened pregnant young women to know that they have a place to turn for help and encouragement just after an 18-year-old Wasatch County woman was arrested, accused of killing her infant son and disposing of his body in Parley’s Canyon.

11 seconds ago

Recall: This recall involves Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace ...

Larry D. Curtis

More than 680,000 bicycle cranks recalled due to crash hazard

Because of thousands of parts failures on bicycles that have separated, Shimano cranksets manufactured before July 2019, sold individually and on bicycles, have been recalled.

46 minutes ago

Park City parking lot...

Katija Stjepovic

Park City to address pedestrian safety, affordable housing

Park City has invited the community to a public meeting Tuesday night to go over the city's hopes to improve the lack of affordable housing along with pedestrian, bike, and transit.

1 hour ago

Candace Lierd walks into her bail hearing Tuesday (Court pool photo)...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Victims react after Exitus CEO denied bail

The former CEO for anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Exitus, was denied bail in a hearing on Tuesday. Further, more victims have come forward with accusations made against her and prosecutors say she is likely to face more charges.

1 hour ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 hours ago

People explore Utahraptor State Park...

Alex Cabrero

Ground broken for Utahraptor State Park near Moab

There are certain days Brookes Britt looks forward to. Monday was one of them.

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Hate Crime Legislation Progresses Following Weekend Assault