Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) on Tuesday called for clarification on legislation that would leave the Jewish community vulnerable to hate crimes in Florida:
“SB1272 may be well-intentioned, but it fails to protect the very constituencies that have been the subject of hate crimes in Florida, and in this country. My goal yesterday and going forward continues to be ensuring that all religions are protected. That’s why I raised the questions I did during the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Monday. But the bill currently falls short in guaranteeing that equal protection.
“As it currently stands, this legislation fights the wrong battle, and targets the wrong enemy. It restrains school children from making anti-Semitic statements, but removes culpability for those who actually carry out anti-Semitic hate crime attacks.
“The legislation has additional committee stops before it’s presented to the full Senate for a vote. I hope that the guarantees that are needed – as the bill sponsor alluded to – will be provided before it comes before me again in the Rules Committee. I look forward to a meeting on this bill with stakeholders this afternoon.”