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Your Right to Justice Against Hate Crime
Warning: This page is provided solely for informational purposes. Readers are encouraged to seek advice from a licensed attorney regarding potential violations of any law.

What is a Hate Crime?

"A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”"

- Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Laws

Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing, 42 U.S.C. § 3631

This statute makes it a crime to use or threaten to use force to interfere with housing rights because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.


Damage to Religious Property, Church Arson Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 247

This statute prohibits the intentional defacement, damage, or destruction of religious real property because of the religious nature of the property, where the crime affects interstate or foreign commerce, or because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of the people associated with the property. The statute also criminalizes the intentional obstruction by force, or threat of force of any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs.


Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights, 18 U.S.C. § 245

This statute makes it a crime to use or threaten to use force to willfully interfere with a person’s participation in a federally protected activity because of race, color, religion, or national origin. Federally protected activities include public education, employment, jury service, travel, or the enjoyment of public accommodations. Under this statute, it is also a crime to use or threaten to use force against those who are assisting and supporting others in participating in these federally protected activities.


Conspiracy Against Rights, 18 U.S.C. § 241

This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to the individual by the U.S. Constitution or the laws of the U.S.


Source: Department of Justice

State Laws

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