A bill passed by the New York legislature addressing bias crime on college and university campuses was signed Wednesday by Gov. George Pataki, winning the governor praise from the Empire State Pride Agenda. "The governor's signature to this bill means New York's colleges and universities will be safer for all students, including gay and lesbian students," said Pride Agenda executive director Alan Van Capelle. "We thank Governor Pataki for signing this bill into law, and we thank both chambers of the legislature for sending it to him with their unanimous support."
The new law calls for colleges and universities in New York State, both public and private, to inform every incoming student about bias crime and the policies in place regarding it. It also requires institutions to file with the State Education Department their plan to educate students on this matter. In the bill, bias-related crimes are defined as those that are recognized in law under the Hate Crimes Act of 2000, which covers hate-motivated crimes based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation.