'Transgender and gay Americans deserve the same clear protections against hate crimes as other Americans,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded the planned introduction in the U.S. House of a federal hate crimes bill with explicit protections against crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation, scheduled for this Thursday, May 26. HRC worked side-by-side with lead sponsors Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., on this legislation, which is explicit in its coverage of the transgender community. The legislation would update our federal hate crimes laws to provide local law enforcement with assistance with hate crimes based on gender and disability.
"Transgender and gay Americans deserve the same clear protections against hate crimes as other Americans," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We're proud that for the first time legislation will be introduced that explicitly covers the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and the community will have an unambiguous shot at equal protection under hate crimes law. We thank our coalition partners and especially our allies in the House of Representatives for their work in securing this language."
According to a 2002 HRC-commissioned poll, two-thirds of voters favor having hate crime laws that cover transgender people.
"The public support is there," added Solmonese. "Congress should act swiftly to ensure local law enforcement agencies have the tools they need from the federal government to combat hate crimes against the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. I urge GLBT Americans and allies to call your members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor this critical legislation or thank them if they already have."
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