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House Committee Defeats Del. Plum’s Bill to Expand Hate Crime Protections for LGBT Community

by Fatimah Waseem February 5, 2018 at 1:30 pm 26 Comments

The Virginia General Assembly defeated a bill by Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston) that would have expanded hate crime protections to individuals based on gender, sexual orientation and disability.

A House of Delegates subcommittee voted down the proposal by a 4-3 party line vote late last month. Republicans on the committee and some legal professionals said adding more protected categories complicates the law, which already punishes violence. The state statute currently applies to race, religion or national origin.

Plum said he plans to reintroduce the bill next year, given the addition of 15 new members who tend to have “more progressive” thinking.

“It’s my desire that we make a clear statement in the law that we do not as a society or as a community support or encourage in any way people committing crimes against other people because of these factors,” he said.

Plum said expanding protections was especially vital given the likelihood of “anti-immigration sentiment in the Trump administration” percolating down to local communities.

“I’m concerned about that the current climate more so in the country and certainly less so in Reston,” he said.  “The underlying thing that concerns me that is not spoken but is always in the background is this: some people may want to enact special protections. That’s unspoken… and there’s no way for me to quantify it.” he said.

File photo.

  • Umust B Kidding

    Sorry that this bill lost, but it highlights just how ineffective Plum has been for his constituents and his interests despite 3 decades of seniority. He needs to be replaced by someone who can actually achieve something.

    • 30yearsinreston

      He takes credit for helping the Democrat candidate for Governor win
      Can you really expect him to do anything except whine

  • Drip

    I support considering attacks against people based on sexual orientation a hate crime. However, because this is a Ken Plum production, I am quite confident that there is likely more to the story than what Plum is passing along here via the RestonNow poster. Most certainly, gender identity was probably a sticking point with some conservative members (I don’t think RestonNow actually read the bill because it completely leaves out the gender identity aspect). Regardless, Plum certainly can’t lead himself out of a paper bag let alone work with the slight Republican majority to pass…well… anything.

    • 30yearsinreston

      He is effective at passing hot air

      • Fredrico

        I guess you two have something in common.

  • Anonymous Person

    When anyone commits a crime of any sort, though, isn’t it an expression of hate for one’s neighbor? One simply stops caring, at some level, for someone else’s rights and person, and puts their own above the other?

    • Mike M

      Yes, “hate crime” is a childish left-wing scam. If someone hits you over the head and takes your money, they broke the law. What they were thinking when they broke the law is not and should not be legally regulated because of the First Amendment. It’s OK to hate. Really, it’s your right. But you can’t break the law without penalties. The left in the US is creeping toward destruction of our Bill of Rights.

      • Anonymous Poster

        No, I do disagree with that. Intent matters, which is why it can be important to establish state of mind. It’s what differentiates between manslaughter, like some awful accident, and first degree murder.

        But we already have laws that take intent into amount. Hate, though, is nebulous. And most criminals in the act of any crime are hating the person they’re committing the crime against, generally. I can process premeditation, but how can I prove this batterer hated someone moreso than that other batterer?

        • Mike M

          Intent generally does not and should not matter. It is unconstitutional and sick to try to regulate peoples thoughts. There are two reasons:
          1) People are free to think what they want. It’s fundamental. It’s about belief.
          2) Tis almost impossible prove what someone was thinking
          Only actions matter. And concepts like self-defense can exonerate. But generally, only actions are regulated by the law. How many black-on-white crimes have been determined to be racist? Many are racism based, but the perverse political bias of “hate crimes” is going to prevent them from being used on a minority. But I don’t care. Polar bear hunting is already against the law. Let’s stop making new laws that creep into the unconstitutional zone and enforce fairly the ones we have. At the end of the day, the leftists want to declare everyone with whom they disagree a “hater.” Then they want to outlaw oppositional speech. It’s sick.

  • OneReally

    Old Kenny P up to your old tricks again.

    Racial politics doesn’t look good on you.

    “anti-immigration sentiment in the Trump administration”
    I believe the sentiment has been anti chain and illegal migration.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Obama has deported more illegal immigrants and cracked down on ‘overstayers’ than Trump
      Didn’t hear Billary and Ken whining then

  • Judith Andersen

    Disgraceful. But not unexpected.

  • Greg

    Once again, Ken Plum fails. Imagine that!

  • Kenny Kenny

    I dont know what the sentencing guidelines for a hate crime would be, but lets take a look at a recent example.

    For better or worse, FCPS chose to declare the Nabra killing to be a “road rage” incident, the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. Assuming this would be declared a hate crime, how could punishment be worse?

    My hunch: Delegate Plum is fishing for votes, that is a very cynical ploy and it comes right out of the modern liberals playbook. His time would be better served making life easier for locals by speaking out against high tolls and outlandish development proposals, just to name two.

    Also, more laws on the books does not mean better justice as case Nabra illustrates.

    • 30yearsinreston

      It takes away from his narrative

    • David Romero

      Why would he be fishing for votes? He ran unopposed.

      • 30yearsinreston

        He’s fishing for votes from his Democratic colleagues, not his constituents
        His ego leads him to believe he is deserving of a promotion e.g to Speaker (with a capital “S”)

      • Mike M

        He is maintaining his base. He reinforces their belief that they are a body apart. Then he promises them special deals. It’s divide and own.

      • Kenny Kenny

        Thats a good question, why is he fishing, maybe you should ask him.

        I tried to talk to him but noticed he cannot hold a conversation. When things get interesting he mostly backs off and disappears.

        Give it a go and report back!

      • Rational Reston

        His constituents in this case are those that pay for his out of state retreats where he gets spoon fed ideas that have nothing to do with Reston or Virginia.

  • Why do you bother?

    Shameful that this didn’t pass.

    • Greg

      No, it’s shameful that Ken Plum gets paid for introducing this nonsense.

      He should focus on concerns and related bills affecting ALL his constitutes, including the LGBT ones: traffic, metro, taxes, street lighting, crime, schools, and many more.

  • jvb11

    I appreciate having such a thoughtful delegate and this legislation is needed. Thank you.

  • 30yearsinreston

    No one sjhould be surprised
    Mr speaker (with a small ‘s’) is up to his usual polemics and identity politics to distract his constituents from realizing what his failure to adequately represent them and work for their benefit is costing them in rheir environment abd daily life
    Perhaps if he put some of that energy towards fixing the traffic problems and growth issues we would be better served

    But then again, Ken gave up working for us long time ago

  • David Romero

    I don’t see the controversy. This is no different than current federal law.

    • Mike M

      Yet, your representative failed.

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