South Carolina lawmakers looking to pass Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act

South Carolina and Wyoming are the two states without a hate crimes law. Lawmakers in South Carolina is pushing for such a law.

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard reminded the Legislature it has yet to take action for the victims of crimes motivated by racism against a particular group as in the case with the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

The “Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act” is named for the pastor who died in the attack. Pinckney was also a state senator.

But here is the bill sitting in the Senate, and if not approved by the end of May, things go back to square one.

Efforts to pass a hate crimes law in Wyoming, where the killing of gay college student Matthew Shepard led to the federal hate crimes law, have repeatedly failed including in 2021. There is no indication the issue will come up in the session that starts Monday.

Some conservatives worry that a hate crime bill could be used to prosecute Christians who speak out against gay marriage or other LGBTQ issues.


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