The Stockbridge City Council on Monday joined a growing list of supporters of a hate crimes law for Georgia.
The Henry city unanimously passed a resolution backing efforts to get a state Senate to vote on a legislation that would add penalties to bias-related crimes, such as those based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender and mental disability or physical disability.
“It’s extremely important that we speak to this subject for Ahmaud Arbery, for George Floyd, for Trayvon Martin, for Breonna Taylor, for Sandra Bland, and all of those who have been affected,” said City Councilman Elton Alexander, who pushed for the resolution.
Georgia is one of four states in the nation that does not have a hate crimes law. A bill creating one has already passed the Georgia House and is awaiting Senate approval, where it has met with some resistance.
On Monday, many of Georgia’s biggest corporations, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot and UPS, signed a letter urging the bill’s passage. It also has the support of House Speaker David Ralston and Gov. Brian Kemp has suggested he is receptive to the idea.
Alexander said Stockbridge should be a leader in the push because it is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Sr., the father of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“We need to do everything possible to encourage the state of Georgia to move forward and do the right thing and make sure that everybody in this state understands that black lives matter,” Alexander said.
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