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Why A Hate Crime Is Not Actually A Hate Crime In 35 States

Two men were viciously attacked, and their attackers will not face as severe a penalty just because of what state they were in.

Let us break this down for you....

On September 11, 2014, two gay men were attacked by a group of men and women in Philadelphia.

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The group also yelled "disparaging remarks" aimed at the couple's perceived sexual orientations, according to a police report.

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Both men were taken to the hospital. One of them had to have his jaw wired.

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The Philly PD posted surveillance footage of the suspected assailants online.

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Thanks to anonymous Twitter user @FanSince09, and others, many of the suspects were ID'd.

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Sidebar: @FanSince09 is the best. Read our full interview with him, here.

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Tons of media outlets initially reported the attack as a "hate crime."

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I mean, let's review what happened.

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Wouldn't you call that a hate crime?

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Well, it's not.

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Sexual orientation is not protected under Pennsylvania's hate-crime laws.

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(Philadelphia is located in Pennsylvania, just so we're clear.)

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And Pennsylvania's not alone. There are 44 states with hate-crime laws on the books*.

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These laws offer legal protection for groups on the basis of their race and religion, among other means of identifying.

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However, only 30 of those states' laws address hate or bias-motivated crimes based on sexual orientation.

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And only 15 of those states protect gender identity along with sexual orientation.

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That means that if a transgender person is attacked for being transgender...

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...The attackers could not be charged with a hate crime in 35 states.

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And you know what that is?

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Same goes for a cisgender person who is attacked because they are perceived to be transgender.

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And if a lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight person is attacked for being (or at least appearing to be) lesbian, gay or bisexual...

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The attackers could not be charged with a hate crime in 20 states.

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One of those states is Pennsylvania.

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And that's why the group that attacked those two gay men on the night of September 11, 2014...

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...Have only been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, among other offenses, and not what they could have been charged with elsewhere.

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Learn more about LGBT bias at LookDifferent.org.

* Human Rights Campaign's "State Hate Crimes Laws"