Update: Transgender Hate Crimes Legislation

The Tennessee General Assembly may be the next state to approve Transgender specific Hate Crimes law. HB 0335/SB 0253 was introduced in February of this year. This week it passed a vote by the House and will be reviewed and hopefully voted on by the State Senate next week, on April 29, 2009.  The bill will add “intentionally choos[ing] victim[s] of crime based on gender identity or expression” to existing state hate crimes law.

One can only hope that the conviction in the Zapata case will help strengthen the resolve to pass this bill in Tennessee.  Ideologically it increases the state level recognition of transgender rights throughout the country, while legally it expands the resources available to law enforcement investigating crimes against the transgendered community in TN (which can include not only better equipment, more people, etc. but also people better trained in diversity issues).

You can keep track of the progress of the bill here.

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