We want you to know that Utah is about to join the government of the United States and 45 of its states in declaring that hate crimes, which always intimidate and traumatize entire communities, such as ours, will not be tolerated here.
The perpetrators will be charged and prosecuted appropriately by Utah Law Enforcement and those convicted will be subject to enhanced sentences. Utah has not had an enforceable hate crimes statute. After years of failed efforts, a constitutional, enforceable statute was just passed by our state legislature. Factors that contributed to the urgency of this law include: a rapidly rising incidence of hate crimes in the U.S., the Anti-Semitic attack on Jews in Pittsburgh and the violent assault on Mexicans and harassment of gay men in Salt Lake City.
Factors that secured its passage included: advocacy for the law by the United Jewish Federation Task force on Antisemitism, joint letters of support from the entire Federation Board and from Faith Leaders of virtually all denominations, the support of the County and State Attorneys and the Mexican Consul. In addition, an influential and educational visit by the ADL leadership that was shortly followed by a press release clarifying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was not opposed to the Bill, along with strong editorial endorsements by the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune.
Members of our Task Force, Jay Jacobson, Melissa Sternfield, Shelley Schwartz, Ron Zamir, David Litvack and Rabbi Avremi Zippel participated in public hearings and member, Rep. Patrice Arent, spoke persuasively to her chamber as The House co-sponsor of the Bill.
We’d like to thank everyone who helped our Jewish community and all historically vulnerable communities in Utah secure the respect and protection we expect from our Constitution. Additional information will soon be in our website. For now, you can connect to information relevant to the Bill's passage below.