Hate Crimes Bill Passes House of Representatives
April 29, 2009
Today the United States House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913), moving one step closer to the passage of the first federal law to include gender identity and transgender people in a positive way. This bill would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability to the categories included in existing federal hate crimes law and would allow local governments who are unable or unwilling to address hate crimes to receive assistance from the federal government.
"This is a great day for America," commented Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, "as we make a clear statement that all lives are valuable and that no one deserves to be targeted for violence just because they are transgender. It is vital that we make it absolutely clear that violence motivated by bias is not tolerated in our country, because while this is a victory, the true victory will come when everyone is genuinely free from violence and discrimination. That's what we are working for."
Transgender people continue to be disproportionately targeted for bias motivated violence and thirteen states and Washington, DC have laws which include transgender people in state hate crimes laws.
What you can do
Contact your Senators' offices and ask for their support for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, S.909, which was introduced yesterday by Senator Edward Kennedy.
On the web
Dallas Voice Blog "Instant Tea" Hate Crimes bill passes in the House