Pennsylvania

Hundreds rally in Philadelphia to call for LGBT hate crimes protections

Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. The renewed call for the legislation comes in response to the Sept. 11 beating of a gay couple. Matt Rourke, AP

Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. The renewed call for the legislation comes in response to the Sept. 11 beating of a gay couple.Matt Rourke, AP

Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. The renewed call for the legislation comes in response to the Sept. 11 beating of a gay couple.

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, accompanied by other officials, speaks at a protest calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke, AP

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, accompanied by other officials, speaks at a protest calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke, AP

Protestors demonstrate calling on Pennsylvania to add sexual orientation to its hate crime law at John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA — More than 200 people advocated for changes to the state’s hate-crimes law in the wake of the beating of a gay couple in downtown Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that the crowd pushed for Pennsylvania’s anti-hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation. The rally was held in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park and was organized by state Rep. Brian Sims.

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The Sept. 11 beating of a gay couple in the city gained attention when police posted a video of the suspects, and online followers used social media sites to help identify them. Advocates say the incident demonstrates why the state needs to change its hate crimes law.

Three suburban suspects surrendered to police Wednesday on charges of criminal conspiracy, aggravated and simple assault, and reckless endangerment.

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