TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Three bills have been filed for the 2018 session that would add new protections under Florida hate crime laws. The fate of the bills may rest in the sponsor's political affiliation.
"People can choose to do harm to me or people that I know in my community, and there's no real recourse," Doan said.
A bill filed by a Democratic state representative would add gender identity to the list of protected groups. It would increase the severity of any crime committed against a trans person on the basis of their gender identity up one level.
Along with gender identity, protections for first responders and political affiliations have also been filed.
Both of those bills were filed by Republican lawmakers.
"What these people are talking about doing is making it a felony, five years in prison, to pull a campaign sign out of somebody's hand," Davis said.
Florida has seen an increase in hate crimes according to the latest statistics, with 73 offenses recorded in 2014 up to 102 reported in 2015.
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Source : https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/bills-would-add-new-protections-under-florida-hate-crime-laws