This week, we were disturbed to learn of an incident in Downtown Charleston during which an LGBTQ member of the Charleston community was the victim of an anti-LGBTQ slur during a confrontation. The victim’s property was attacked and he was subjected to the brandishing of a firearm before fleeing in terror.
Because this incident occurred within the city limits and involved crimes covered under city ordinances, it can be charged as a hate crime under Charleston’s hate crime ordinance. We applaud the City of Charleston’s effort to pursue their investigation through this lens. However, if this crime had occurred outside of city limits or risen to a higher level of violence than is covered by municipal law, this crime could not be investigated as the hate crime it is.
From Chase Glenn, a Stamp Out Hate SC Steering Committee Member and Executive Director of the Alliance For Full Acceptance: “Now is the time to get serious about passing a hate crime law here in South Carolina. It shouldn't require high profile hate crimes to highlight the need for a law, but the fact that someone was targeted because of who they love and how they identify, demands our response. This isn’t a political issue. This isn't only about LGBTQ people. This is about creating safer communities for all South Carolinians — sending a clear message that our state is a safe and welcoming place for all people, and hate has no place here.”