Washington Legislature adds Gender Identity to Hate Crimes Law
April 9, 2009
From Tony Wagner, HRC's Western Regional Field Director: I just heard some great news from our friends in Washington State. Yesterday, the Washington state House of Representatives voted 68-30 to pass SB 5952, a bill which would add gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crime laws. This follows a positive Senate vote of 36-12 nearly a month ago. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law. “Today is a great day for the state of Washington and all Washingtonians,” said Allyson Robinson, Associate Director for Diversity at the Human Rights Campaign. “This legislation will finally provide protections to our transgender brothers and sisters who are often the targets of the most violent acts of hate. Washington has taken a big leap forward in recognizing the importance of this common-sense legislation.” The votes in each chamber occurred with bipartisan support, proving that providing protections for the transgender community is an issue about doing the right thing and not about partisan politics. We would like to thank all the legislators who came to this conclusion and congratulate the many LGBT activists and allies who made this possible. Way to go Washington!!