Transgender people face well-documented and unconscionable levels of bias-motivated violence. This is especially true of young, low-income transgender women of color. The stigma associated with being transgender requires transgender people to maintain constant vigilance against sudden brutal violence. For years, transgender people have been murdered on an average of more than one person per month; many more have been assaulted. While a deep societal issue like hate cannot be entirely resolved by the government, the steps recommended here will result in large strides toward safety.
- Federal Hate Crimes Prevention. Congress should pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA).[On Congress on October 28, 2009 as The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama]
- Community Relations Service. Congress should amend Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to allow the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service to respond to conflicts based on categories covered by the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
- Day of Remembrance. Congress should pass a joint resolution formally recognizing the “National Transgender Day of Remembrance” and encouraging Americans to commemorate the lives of transgender victims of hate-motivated violence.
- National Crime Victimization Survey. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) should integrate information about a victim’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression into its National Crime Victimization Survey.
- Foreign Service Training. Federal government employees, human rights officers, and all staff located abroad should receive training about hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. This training should also include protocols for respectful treatment of transgender people, including the use of preferred pronouns and names.
Hate Crimes Laws
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont have hate crime laws which include gender identity or expression. For a map of the United States showing hate crimes laws by state, please click here.