Hate Intimidation Law passes. Is it good or bad for tourism?

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

A recent rule in Myrtle Beach is designed to increase efforts to combat Myrtle Beach hate intimidation crimes.

The Myrtle Beach City Council voted unanimously to pass the hate intimidation ordinance in a meeting held today. This ordinance had initially been approved in March during the first reading, but Tuesday’s vote officially made it part of the city’s code.

This rule also makes Myrtle Beach the first city in the Grand Strand to implement such a regulation.

The city aims to prevent and discourage crimes driven by prejudice or hate towards individuals based on their race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or national origin.

Additionally, it states that individuals found guilty of committing a hate intimidation crime will be subject to a $500 penalty and a 30-day imprisonment.

The ordinance was brought up for discussion several months following a cross-burning incident in the Conway area, which prompted local activists and the city’s human rights commission to advocate for action. The city then organized an open dialogue that addressed racial harassment and hate, with participation from various local leaders and law enforcement.

These discussions have now progressed to the state level, as South Carolina is one of just two states that do not have a hate crime law in place.

The problem has also been tackled by other nearby neighborhoods.

The Conway City Council recently approved a resolution urging lawmakers in Columbia to pass a law applicable to the entire state. At the same time, leaders in Florence unanimously passed their own hate crime ordinance.

Before, officials in Myrtle Beach expressed a preference for the state passing a hate crime bill prior to implementing a citywide ordinance. They believed that a statewide hate crime law would convey a stronger message.

Yet Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune has also stated that, due to the absence of a hate crime bill in the state, they are choosing to address the issue themselves.

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