From the Virginia Interfaith Center:

Sign the pledge: No Hate in Virginia!

In response to an increase in hate crimes in Virginia and around the country, Attorney General Mark Herring is today announcing new legislative proposals and community resources to help protect Virginians from being targeted for violence, harassment, or intimidation because of who they are, what they believe, how they worship, or whom they love.

In 2015, there were 155 hate crime offenses reported in Virginia, including 71 assaults, and 49 acts of vandalism or damage to property. This represents a 21% increase over the prior year and an increase in hate crimes was recorded in nearly every reported category. Of these reported hate crimes tracked by the Virginia State Police, 82 crimes were based on racial bias, 23 on religious bias, 22 on sexual orientation, 15 on ethnicity, and 13 on disability. Nationally, the FBI reported a 6% increase in hate crimes nationwide in 2015, including an increase in crimes against Jewish Americans, African Americans, LGBT Americans, and a 67% increase in crimes against Muslim Americans.

Sign the pledge to send a clear message to Virginia’s Attorney General and Governor Terry McAuliffe that you support this effort, and want Virginia to be a NO HATE state.

It’s easy – just fill out this form, and we’ll send the message. You can also download the image and post a “No Hate in Virginia” badge on your social media channels!

To sign the pledge, go to: https://virginiainterfaithcenter.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=2&reset=1

When you do a note of thanks will automatically be sent to Attorney General Herring.

You can learn more about the legislative package at www.NoHateVA.com, which will provide information about the rights of Americans to be free from bias-based crimes, as well as state and federal laws to protect against hate crimes and illegal discrimination. It will also provide information about how hate crimes and discrimination can be reported to local, state, or federal authorities and the numerous resources available to individuals and organizations that have been the victim of a hate crime.

Under bills being offered by Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Lamont Bagby, and Delagate Rip Sullivan, the Virginia Attorney General will be empowered to investigate and prosecute suspected hate crimes through the Commonwealth’s network of multi-jurisdictional grand juries, which serve nearly 100 localities and give prosecutors additional tools and resources when investigating crimes and building cases. Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office already work in the multijurisdictional grand juries around the state on matters ranging from child exploitation to heroin trafficking to gang-related murders. Please call your own lawmakers to express your support.

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