North Liberty’s Hate Crime Ordinance Goes into Effect
On Aug. 24, Sept. 14 and Sept. 29, 2021, the North Liberty City Council voted to approve a hate crime ordinance. In addition to the State of Iowa’s hate crime provisions, the local ordinance increases penalties for harassment or trespass crimes motivated by the victim’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or marital status or the person’s association with a person or group with one or more of those characteristics. The ordinance goes into effect on Oct. 7 following its official publication.
The ordinance reads in full:
42.08: VIOLATION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS – HATE CRIME:
- It shall be unlawful for a person to commit a bias-motivated hate crime. “Bias-motivated hate crime” means one of the following public offenses when committed against a person or a person’s property because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or marital status or the person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics:
- Harassment under Iowa Code section 708.7.
- Trespass, as defined in Iowa Code section 716.7(2)(a).
- A violation of this section is punishable as follows:
- First offense: A fine of at least three hundred dollars ($300.00) and not to exceed eight hundred fifty-five dollars ($855.00), and imprisonment of at least three (3) days and not to exceed seven (7) days.
- Subsequent offenses: A fine of eight hundred fifty-five dollars ($855.00) and thirty (30) days imprisonment.
- Nothing herein shall be construed to allow a court, in the absence of a stipulation by the parties, to admit evidence of speech, beliefs, association, group membership, or expressive conduct unless that evidence is relevant and admissible under the Iowa Rules of Evidence. Nothing herein is intended to affect the existing rules of evidence.