Georgia is one of five states without hate crime legislation. In 2009, the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act added sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally protected statuses.

The petition reads:

With a state hate crimes law, local law enforcement personnel, police, investigators, first responders, prosecutors would have the ability and authority to investigate an alleged hate crime.

If Georgia had its own hate crime law that included sexual orientation and gender identity, there would be more training directed at the local level to investigate potential anti-LGBT crimes.

The petition has a stated goal of 1,000 signatures. As of this morning, some 20 people had added their names.

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