A bipartisan bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives that improves the reporting of hate crimes and expands resources for victims, according to The Hill.
Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act on Thursday (June 27). The act seeks to prioritize the implementation of the National Incident-Based Reporting System, allowing law enforcement agencies to record and report information about hate crimes to the FBI.
The NO HATE Act would also provide grants to create state-run hotlines that would also record information about the crimes, while also helping victims and witness to get in touch with law enforcement and local legislators and officials.
“The rise in hate crimes in the United States has reached epidemic proportions in the last few years, and we need law enforcement to have every possible tool to stop it,” Beyer said. “By tracking and reporting incidents of hate crimes nationwide, we can know whether we are making progress towards their prevention.”
“Hate crimes have no place in our society, yet sadly they are on the rise,” Olson added. “I see firsthand the impact the hate crimes have on our communities. The NO HATE Act will serve as a vital tool in the fight against hate crimes by improving how law enforcement agencies track and report hate crimes.”
The NO HATE Act has received a number of endorsements from organizations advocating for the LGBTQ community, as well as the Jewish and Muslim communities as well, including the Human Rights Campaign.
“With the spike in bias-motivated violence and harassment across the country, particularly impacting transgender women of color, the need to address the crisis of anti-LGBTQ hate is more urgent than ever,” said Human Rights Campaign’s government affairs director David Stacy. “Without a clearer picture of the full scope of this problem, our policymakers, elected officials, and law enforcement are deprived of the necessary tools to fully combat this epidemic.”
“This legislation is necessary to improve out data-reporting requirements,” Stacy continued, “and we applaud Rep. Beyer for working to fill this significant hole in our nation’s ability to address this often-deadly violence.”
A companion bill is being introduced into the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).