North Carolina Hate Crimes Prevention Act

SB 209 / HB 312

 

What is the North Carolina Hate Crimes Prevention Act?

 

The North Carolina Hate Crimes Prevention Act is a bill that would fill critical gaps in North Carolina’s hate crimes framework:

  • Amends existing hate crime laws to ensure protections for LGBTQ victims and victims targeted due to disability
  • Creates a civil cause of action for hate crime victims 
  • Adds a felony offense to North Carolina’s hate crime framework
  • Establishes protocol for collecting hate crimes statistics
  • Ensures hate crimes training for law enforcement and prosecutors

 

Why is this Hate Crimes Prevention Act needed in North Carolina?

Hate crimes demand a priority response because of their special emotional and psychological impact—not only on the victim, but also on the victim’s entire community.  These incidents can damage the fabric of our society and fragment communities.

Last year, nearly 25% of reported hate crimes in North Carolina involved victims who were targeted based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. Yet, these victims do not receive protection under our state’s existing hate crime laws.

By coupling a broader statute and stronger criminal penalties with a commitment to additional training for law enforcement and clear reporting requirements, this proposed legislation sends a clear message that here in North Carolina, crimes that target individuals simply because of who they are or how they worship are unacceptable and will face serious consequences.

 

Will SB 209 and HB 312 criminalize speech or thought? 

No.  Hate crime laws punish criminal conduct and not speech. Therefore, a person cannot be convicted of a hate crime without committing an underlying crime.

 

What can I do to help?

Contact your local ADL Office (Jeremy Bloomstone: 202-384-7281; jbloomstone@adl.org) for more information. 

Contact your state Representative and Senator and ask them to support this bill.  You can find their contact information here: https://www.ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators