To report a bias incident or hate crime, please use the BIRT online reporting form.

California Laws

Federal Laws

List of California Hate Crime Laws

Online Resources

Hate Crime Prevention Resources

California Laws

California in 1998 enacted a law that makes the offense of vandalism because of a person's race. color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. (Statutes of 1998, Chapter 850)


Federal Laws

The Ralph Civil Rights Act: Addresses the problem of racial, ethnic, religious, and minority violence by providing civil and administrative remedies for those who are victims of violence directed against any particular class of persons.

The Bane Civil Rights Act: Protects people from continued violence of the threat of violence based on grounds such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affirmation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or position in a labor dispute.

Other statutes recently add gender to the list of felony hate crimes for which enhanced penalties may apply (Statues of 1998, Chapter 933); and add school property to the list of sites for which felony or misdemeanor penalties may apply when any person who burns or desecrates a cross or other religious symbol, knowing it to be a religious symbol, for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or occupant or in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant (Statutes of 1998; Chapter 414).

David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2013 or David's Law: Amends the federal criminal code to impose penalties for willfully causing bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive device, attempting to cause such injury, whether or not acting under color of law, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of any person, where the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce. 

List of California Hate Crimes 

California Penal Code 422.6 

Criminalizes injury or threat to person or damage to property because of actual or perceived "race, color. religion. ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.' 

California Penal Code 666.7

Lists sentence enhancements for felony hate crimes and damage to property because the property is "associated with a person or group of identifiable race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, gender, disability, or sexual orientation." 

California Penal Code 628.5

Establishes criteria for validating incidents of each crime description reported by schools. 

California Penal Code 628.2 

Covers compilation and distribution of reports of crimes committed on school grounds. 

California Penal Code 628.1

Mandates development of reporting form for hate crimes, for use by all school districts and county office of education. 

California Penal Code 628

Establishes legislative intent to ensure the collection of sufficient data and information about the type and frequency of hate crimes and hate incidents on school campuses to combat such crime. 

California Penal Code 594.3

Criminalizes vandalism of places of worship and interferences with religious worship. 

California Penal Code 422.95

Covers conditions of probation for hate crime perpetrators, including civil rights training and payments to organizations that help hate crime victims. 

California Penal Code 422.75

Enhances the penalty for a felony committed because of the victim's actual or perceived "race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.' 

California Penal Code 422.7

Specifies additional penalties to be imposed for the "felony of intimidation because of specified beliefs or characteristics."

California Penal Code 13519.6

Covers hate crimes for training peace officers. 

California Penal Code 1170.75 

Aggravating factors that shall be considered include a selection of a victim because of the victim's actual or perceived, "race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability, gender, or sexual orientation." 

California Penal Code 48900.3

Makes participation in act of hate violence grounds for suspension or expulsion in school. 

California Penal Code 44670.3

Addresses staff development activities to assist school personnel in building greater awareness of issues of diversity, prejudice, and discrimination. 

California Penal Code 233.8 

Mandates regional training to assist school district personnel in the identification and determination of hate violence on school campuses. 

California Penal Code 233.5

It imposes a duty on teachers to instruct pupils on morals, manners, and citizenship and to "create and foster an environment that is free from discriminatory attitudes, practices, events or activities, in order to prevent acts of hate violence."

California Penal Code 233

Addresses policies and guidelines to prevent discrimination and hate violence in schools. 

California Civil Code 51.7 

Establishes rights to be free from violence or intimidation committed against persons or property because of actual or perceived "race, color, religion, ancestry. national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability." 

Online Resources 

American Psychological Association

Links to an article from the American Psychological Association investigating the emotions behind hate crimes and how to prevent them. 

Anti-Defamation League

A website with information about combating hate crimes and protecting the civil rights of all people. 

Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, Northeastern University 

Information about the mission of the Brudnick Center: solving hostility stemming from intergroup conflicts. 

Campus Pride 

Here you will find information on a nonprofit organization working to create a safe campus environment for LGBT students. 

Campus Climate Index

Provides a National listing of LGBT friendly colleges and universities.

Facing History and Ourselves

A site using education in order to combat prejudice; provides resources for educators, students, and professional development.

FBI Crime Statistics

A website providing information about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and crime statistics.

Hate Crimes Prevention Resources

Hate Crimes Research Network

This website provides a link to research on hate crimes.

Human Rights Campaign

An organization working on LGBT rights, this website provides information about legislation such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act as well as other state laws and policies.

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund

It provides information about this coalition dedicated to creating an "open and just society."

Matthew Shepard

This website provides resources for LGBTQ Youth.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

This website provides the story of Matthew Shepard whose death due to an anti-gay hate crime resulted in the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The foundation, established by his parents, seeks education, outreach, and advocacy to "replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance."

Napa Valley College Bias Incident Response Team

Provides information about the Bias Incident Response Team in place at Napa Valley College.

Southern Poverty Law Center

This non-profit organization is "dedication to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society."