By COURTNEY HESSLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday seeks to broaden the state’s hate crime law to extend protections for the LGBTQ community and add provisions to build better relationships with people accused of such offenses and their community.
The West Virginia civil rights code includes protections against persons or property from violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex.
The Justice Through Grace in Communities Act – HB 4281 – seeks to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the statute.
Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, said the bill will give a chance to redeem, heal and restore perpetrators, victims and the communities they live in.
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