Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-03-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Decalogue Society of Lawyers hosts hate-crimes forum
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2014-11-04

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


An Oct. 29 forum at Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation Synagogue in Skokie focused on certain aspects of hate crimes, including civil and criminal remedies.

Speakers included Judge Renee Goldfarb, Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Betsy Shuman-Moore ( director of Fair Housing and Hate Crime Projects for the Chicago Committee of Lawyers for Civil Rights Under Law ) and Arnold Romeo ( Chicago Commission on Human Relations ).

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill, of the Ezra-Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation Synagogue, provided words of welcome while Joel Chupack, president of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, noted that the lawyers present would receive professional development hours for attending the forum.

Michael Strom, past president and current board of directors member of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, introduced each speaker.

Cassidy noted that, for the longest time, the only statute in Illinois protecting people based on sexual orientation was the hate-crimes law. However, since then, Illinois has added many other protections for LGBT people, including the recent Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Marriage Fairness Act.

"That doesn't mean that hate crimes are over. We continue to see an increase in bias and hate crimes against people from all communities," said Cassidy. "Very often, there is a wide gulf between what a community experiences as a hate crime and what a prosecutor can charge and successfully prosecute as a hate crime. That has always been one of our greatest challenges."

Cassidy explained that the Illinois hate-crimes law is narrower regarding its sexual-orientation definition than it is in the Illinois Civil Rights Act, so there is a need to add gender identity to the law. Although it hasn't moved out of the state legislature, Cassidy noted that she did introduce a bill in 2011 that would add gender identity to the law. Cassidy said that another piece that needs to be added to Illinois law is an institutional vandalism statute protecting LGBT spaces.

Romeo noted that the Chicago Commission on Human Relations was originally formed to deal with racial tensions among the African-American, Latino and Asian communities. Since then, Romeo explained, the commission has expanded its reach to include many different groups, including the LGBT community.

As for charging someone with a hate crime, Romeo said that one of the issues is if it has to be attached to another crime like battery or assault or property damage so the victim can identify what happened. "That is one of the tricky things about hate crimes because people don't really know what a hate crime is," he said. "We believe most of the hate crimes in Chicago aren't reported."

Romeo explained that the commission provides victims with support because the legal process takes time. This help includes providing a space for the victims to share what happened to them and making sure they get to court because visibility matters in these cases.

Goldfarb noted that it isn't just the LGBT community that has hate-crime victims, adding that the Jewish community is also subject to the same violations to this day. "Now what exactly are hate crimes?," he asked. "They are crimes committed against two victims—the individual that was targeted and the community to which they belong—and that's what makes them unique. Hate crimes damage the entire fabric of society."

"The most frequent instances of hate crimes are due to race, then religion, then sexual orientation, and the vast majority of religious hate crimes target the Jewish community," Goldfarb added. "What is the profile of a hate-crime offender? The typical hate-crime offender is male, between the ages of 14 and 24, and has no criminal record. The thing that all hate crime offenders have in common no matter who they target is they are looking for someone to attack."

Shuman-Moore's presentation focused on the Chicago Lawyers Committee's ( CLC ) Hate Crime Project."The CLC—which was founded in 1969 and has 45 Chicago law firm members—seeks to eliminate discrimination and poverty," said Shuman-Moore. "CLC lawyers provide pro bono representation for civil rights cases and projects seeking to have an impact."

The issue areas that Shuman-Moore noted that the CLC works on are employment discrimination, housing discrimination, voting rights, education equity, the Settlement Assistance Project, the Law Project and hate crimes. "The purpose of the project is to fight violent crime based on all of the classes outlined in the Illinois hate-crimes law," said Shuman-Moore.

Shuman-Moore explained that it is widely accepted that many more hate crimes occur than are reported due to the denial and lack of knowledge by law enforcement authorities and lack of knowledge by the victims that they were a victim of a hate crime and it's not just an urban problem. She also noted that hate crime victims can file civil suits against their attacker( s ) and the CLC will help those who do so.

A Q&A session took place after each speaker's remarks.

The Decalogue Society of Lawyers and Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation co-sponsored the event.

See www.decaloguesociety.org, www.ehnt.org, www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cchr.html and www.clccrul.org for more information.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Trump Administration Omits LGBTQs from 2020 Census, American Community Survey 2017-03-28 - WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2017—Today, the Trump Administration submitted to Congress a report of the list of categories of data it plans to ...


Gay News

Protection rescinded from LGBT employees of companies working with government 2017-03-28 - Statement from National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. on the Trump Administration's Quiet Take-Down of Federal Protections Against LGBT ...


Gay News

Alphonza Watson, a Black transgender woman, killed in Baltimore 2017-03-27 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) mourns the death of Alphonza Watson, a Black transgender woman, killed in Baltimore, Maryland ...


Gay News

ICE shooting, Sessions' comments make clear, Illinois must be a sanctuary state 2017-03-27 - CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley in response to threats to sanctuary statusfor Chicago by Attorney ...


Gay News

Anniversary of King's assassination marked with citywide teach-in April 4 2017-03-27 - Under the rubric, "Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild," a new Chicago coalition will host a citywide teach-in Tuesday, April 4 at the headquarters of the ...


Gay News

In loss for Trump, House pulls legislation to repeal Obamacare 2017-03-24 - In a loss for President Trump, the U.S. House withdrew legislation set for a vote March 24 to repeal Obamacare after near certain ...


Gay News

AHCA pulled from vote, ACLU and HRC applaud the outcome 2017-03-24 - From the ACLU WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today decided not to vote on the American Health Care Act ( AHCA ...


Gay News

130 congregations to participate in Nat'l Weekend of Prayer for Trans Justice 2017-03-23 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — This weekend, religious leaders, clergy, and people of faith from more than 130 congregations in more than 30 states will ...


Gay News

NC GOP refuses to allow clean up or down vote on full HB2 repeal 2017-03-23 - WASHINGTON — On March 22 the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) and Equality North Carolina slammed North Carolina's Republican leadership for their ...


Gay News

Radical anti-LGBT activist appointed to lead HHS Civil Rights Office, groups respond 2017-03-23 - President Trump this week quietly appointed anti-LGBT extremist Roger Severino as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.