By CAITLIN TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING — Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he has felt compelled to include sexual orientation and gender identification in Michigan’s hate crime law since 2015, when eight gay men, including a friend of his, were targeted in Lansing. “Two thugs found out eight different men were gay by going onto computer dating sites,” Jones said. “They beat these men bloody, tied and chained them up and robbed them. When they were captured, they made a confession to the police department that they hated gays and hope they die.”
A year later, Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, introduced an amendment to Michigan’s hate crime law — cosponsored by Jones — to include additional penalties for crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation and gender identification. It never got a hearing.