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AG Mark Herring on Virginia Senate GOP’s “latest failure to update Virginia’s hate crimes definition and on the committee’s decision to rerefer the paramilitary bill”

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Yet another example of why we need to vote Republicans out of office here in Virginia this November and across the country in 2020. Just pathetic.

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK R. HERRING
~ On the General Assembly’s latest failure to update Virginia’s hate crimes definition and on the committee’s decision to rerefer the paramilitary bill ~ 
RICHMOND (January 14, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the below statements following the hearing of two of his hate crimes and white supremacist violence legislation in committee. The Attorney General’s bill, which would have updated Virginia’s definition of a hate crime to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability and would have brought Virginia’s definition of a hate crime more in line with the federal definition, failed after the committee voted on party lines.
“The update to Virginia’s hate crimes definition is long overdue and would have offered needed protections for women, the LGBT community and Virginians with disabilities. I am disappointed to see this commonsense bill die in a party line vote. At a time when communities in Virginia and around the country are confronting a rise in hate crimes and hateful rhetoric, the General Assembly has sent a clear message to those who feel vulnerable to hate and mistreatment that they will not take the measures needed to protect them.”
Additionally, the Attorney General’s bill which would further restrict the kind of paramilitary activity by white supremacist militias and similar groups that was seen in Charlottesville in August 2017 was rereferred to the Senate Finance Committee. The bill was reported out of Courts of Justice on a 7-6 vote.
“Last year, the paramilitary bill failed to make it out of committee and referring it to the Senate Finance Committee is a step in the right direction. It is time for the General Assembly to take action to protect Virginians and make sure that we prevent the kind of paramilitary activity that we saw in Charlottesville from ever happening on our streets again. I will continue to push for the General Assembly to pass this bill and make Virginia a safer place for everyone to live.”