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    MARCH 7, 2012
Brandon Teena, 21, was raped and murdered on December 31, 1993, in Humboldt, Nebraska. 
He was a trans man. 

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Matthew Shepard, 21, was beaten, tortured, and left to die in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming on the night of October 6, 1998.
He was gay.

Jesse Washington, 17, was burned, tortured and lynched in May 1916 while a crowd of 10,000 people stood by, including police who did not come to his aid.
He was black.

These people, would have not died in such violent ways if they weren’t part of minority groups that majority groups hated without reason. Often, those who hate and murder go largely unpunished, like the case of Jesse Washington, where no one was ever charged with his murder. 

Hate crime penalties punish those who reject equality between all humans. We all have a right to feel safe, and when someone harasses, stalks, threatens or kills someone because they belong to a certain ethnicity, they are committing a hate crime. 

In a world where one person is murdered every 60 seconds, we need to promote safety above all. Many dangers are out of our control, so those we can prevent must be controlled. Hate, is one of those. Not only people in minority ethnicities, but everyone is exposed to the terrible menace that is hate. 

Many of those who are against hate crime penalties are often haters themselves. Take Dr. Robert Gagnon, whose 25 Reasons To Oppose Hate Crime Legislation are a testament to this. Gagnon is against homosexuality, and his opposition of hate crime penalties are merely a self preservation tactic to continue getting off scot-free for hating.

Unfortunately, Gagnon is not alone. Many others oppose hate crime laws because they are part of the hate. 

Which is exactly why we need to continue to push for hate crime laws. Respecting life is vital to our society and planet, and if hate kills, it has no place on this earth.

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