The law stiffens penalties and sentences when a defendant is convicted of a hate crime, meaning the victim was chosen specifically because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability or physical disability.
Georgia Representative Calvin Smyre, who co-sponsored the bill, says the first hate crime bill he and other lawmakers crafted was not passed because the Supreme Court said it was too vague. He adds that while this bill is not a cure-all, it is a step in the right direction.
Watch Gov. Kemp’s full press conference, including the signing of the bill, in the video below.
After signing the bill, Gov. Kemp posted on Facebook, saying in part, “Georgia is a state too great to hate.”