Frankel: Hate incidents continue to show need for action

Urges House, Senate leadership to enact hate crime legislation

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 13 – As high profile incidents of bigotry continue to be reported in local communities, state Rep. Dan Frankel and other members of the Coalition Against Hate are calling for House and Senate leadership to take action – and to allow a vote on their bipartisan hate crime legislation.

“As we continue to see in communities across this state, hateful actions continue to be perpetrated against our neighbors simply because of who they are,” Frankel said. “We know that these types of interactions are increasing, and it is time for our legislature to take action. We cannot legislate what is in people’s hearts, but we can send a loud message that Pennsylvania stands together against hate and set an example as elected leaders by quickly moving this legislation forward.”

Frankel was joined in his call for action by members of the Coalition Against Hate, including:
State Sen. Larry Farnese; Arab-American Development Corps; The LGBT Center of Greater Reading; the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg; Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition; the Jewish Community Relations Council; Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; the Anti-Defamation League; the Pennsylvania Youth Congress; the Sikh Coalition; Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pa.; Mike Piecuch, Snyder County District Attorney and president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association; Disability Rights Pennsylvania; the Baha'i Community; PA Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice; Tri-State Human Relations Coalition; OCA-Pittsburgh; and the Pittsburgh Freethought Community.

Over the weekend, news outlets widely reported an incident involving Pennsylvania’s Second Lady, Giselle Fetterman, who was a called a racial slur while shopping. In a second incident, anti-Semitic literature was left at the office of state Rep. Aaron Kaufer.

In a Facebook post regarding the incident, Kaufer said that it was “sad that we can’t move past hateful rhetoric that casts a negative shadow on our region.”

“At a time when passions are high, we must remember that despite our differences, we are all people,” Frankel said. “We must remember that each of us is a human being, and that each of us deserve the same dignity and respect, especially if we disagree. It is time for us to stand up to hate and send a message that hate has no place in Pennsylvania.”