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New York State Legislature Gets Bill Banning Hate Literature

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The Rockefeller Administration sent today to the State Legislature bills to ban racial and religious discrimination in private housing and to make the publication or distribution of hate literature a crime.

Governor Rockefeller’s measure would bias in the rental, sale or financing of dwelling units in buildings containing three or more apartments or in a development with ten or more housing units. It would also ban discrimination in the sale or lease of commercial space, a completely new proposal in anti-bias legislation.

The bill to make a crime of publication, distribution or possession of hate literature was offered by Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz. It is aimed at material which would “tend to incite hatred or ostracism of persons of any race, color, creed, national origin or ancestry. “

The Attorney General said that there was no state law covering the hate literature. The measure, which he recommended to the Legislature for study, provides for fines of up to $2, 000 and one year jail penalties. Second offenses would be penalized more severely. He said he had consulted with religious and civic rights groups before drafting the bill.

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