RESOLUTION OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION URGING AMENDMENT OF THE ETHNIC INTIMIDATION STATUTE TO INCLUDE OFFENSES COMMITTED WITH MALICIOUS INTENTION TOWARD THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION OF THE VICTIM

WHEREAS, gay men and lesbians historically have been and continue to be victims of malicious acts to their person and property solely because of their sexual orientation or perceptions regarding their sexual orientation;

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Attorney General Ernie Preate reported in May, 1991 that hate crimes rose 30% in Pennsylvania in the preceding two years, and that there is ''disturbing evidence that gay men and women are at risk of physical violence, harm and threats to a much greater extent than the population at large";

WHEREAS, the National Lesbian And Gay Task Force has reported that Pennsylvania had more anti- gay and lesbian murders in 1989 than any other state in the country;

WHEREAS, a study published by the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force in June, 1988 reported that gay men in Pennsylvania experience eight times the national rate of violence against men in the general population, and Pennsylvania gay women are seven times more likely to suffer from bias-related violence than women nationwide; and,

WHEREAS, Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 2710 currently provides for penalties for similar offenses directed toward individuals based on their race, color, religion or national origin;

THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports and encourages enactment of an amendment to Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 2710 to include offenses against individuals based on their sexual orientation or perceptions regarding their sexual orientation, either as now proposed in House Bill 1353, Printer No. 1571, or otherwise; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor is hereby authorized to communicate this position of the Association to the appropriate legislators and legislative bodies.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 26, 1991