The New Jersey legislature just passed a gender identity/expression hate crime and school anti-bullying bill, and the governor is expected to sign it into law.
The law does the following:
- Adds "gender identity or expression" as a protected class to the state hate crimes law.
- Specifies that a "mistake of fact" by a defendant committing a hate crime is not a defense.
- Requires two hours of hate-crimes sensitivity training for all new police officers.
- Specifies suggested sentencing options to which judges can sentence defendants, such as anti-hate sensitivity training.
- Creates a study Commission on Bullying in Schools, which has nine months to investigate the problem and make recommendations to the Governor and legislature for further legislation.
- Requires schools post their anti-bullying policies on their websites, and to distribute their anti-bullying policies, within 120 days after enactment of the law.