SC Chamber urges General Assembly to pass hate crimes law

Bizar Male

There are renewed calls for South Carolina lawmakers to pass a hate crimes law. The state is one of only three in the country without such a law.The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce along with several businesses held a virtual news conference Monday. They urged the General Assembly to make passage of a hate crimes law a priority this session.”I believe so strongly that in order for South Carolina to remain a great place for people to bring both their businesses and their families, we have to demonstrate to the world that hate will not be tolerated,” said Tim Arnold, Chairman of the SC Chamber. The SC Chamber of Commerce is calling on the House to pass bill H.3620.The bill has Republican and Democrat sponsorship along with support from the business community. “It would deliver a message that South Carolina is not only open for business but we’re open to business for all people,” said Brooke Mueller, Director of Public Affairs and State & Local Government Relations for Walmart.The bill would enhance penalties for violent crimes, harassment, stalking or malicious injury offenses against people intentionally selected because of their race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.The bill is facing opposition. State Rep. Garry Smith (R-Simpsonville) believes harassment makes the bill too broad. “It’s (harassment) nowhere near the league of a murder, assault and battery, which is what you usually think about when you think of a hate crime, you don’t think about something as objective as harassment, a he said or she said type of crime,” said Smith. State Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D-Spartanburg) is a co-sponsor of the bill. She believes it’s a long time coming for the state. “I don’t think there’s anything that can be too broad about targeting someone because of their identity and various aspects,” said Henderson-Myers (D-Spartanburg)The SC Chamber of Commerce said for the bill to move forward this legislative session, it must pass the House before April 10.

There are renewed calls for South Carolina lawmakers to pass a hate crimes law. The state is one of only three in the country without such a law.

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce along with several businesses held a virtual news conference Monday. They urged the General Assembly to make passage of a hate crimes law a priority this session.

“I believe so strongly that in order for South Carolina to remain a great place for people to bring both their businesses and their families, we have to demonstrate to the world that hate will not be tolerated,” said Tim Arnold, Chairman of the SC Chamber.

The SC Chamber of Commerce is calling on the House to pass bill H.3620.

The bill has Republican and Democrat sponsorship along with support from the business community.

“It would deliver a message that South Carolina is not only open for business but we’re open to business for all people,” said Brooke Mueller, Director of Public Affairs and State & Local Government Relations for Walmart.

The bill would enhance penalties for violent crimes, harassment, stalking or malicious injury offenses against people intentionally selected because of their race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.

The bill is facing opposition. State Rep. Garry Smith (R-Simpsonville) believes harassment makes the bill too broad.

“It’s (harassment) nowhere near the league of a murder, assault and battery, which is what you usually think about when you think of a hate crime, you don’t think about something as objective as harassment, a he said or she said type of crime,” said Smith.

State Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D-Spartanburg) is a co-sponsor of the bill. She believes it’s a long time coming for the state.

“I don’t think there’s anything that can be too broad about targeting someone because of their identity and various aspects,” said Henderson-Myers (D-Spartanburg)

The SC Chamber of Commerce said for the bill to move forward this legislative session, it must pass the House before April 10.

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