Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Puerto Rico legislators want to gut hate crimes law

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Governor Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico)
Gov. Luis Fortuño (P.R.)

Lawmakers in Puerto Rico apparently believe strongly in impotent symbolism, because that’s all the island’s hate crimes legislation will amount to if they have their way with it:

The Puerto Rico Senate late last month approved a provision that would eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity and religious beliefs from the hate crimes statute that was included in the penal code that lawmakers approved in 2004. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the amended penal code this week during an extraordinary legislative session that Gov. Luis Fortuño convened.

Exactly what is the point of even having a hate crimes law if it’s so watered down that it wouldn’t actually apply to any hate crimes anymore?

For the record, I’m still far from sold on the nature of, or need for, hate crimes legislation (I explained my reasoning here; it has mostly remained the same since then), but regardless, one would think that lawmakers would at least make an effort at seeming substantial even if they aren’t actually willing to do anything concrete.

(via Joe. My. God.)