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Transgenders Included in New Hate Crimes Bill

Susan Jones | Morning Editor | Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Transgenders Included in New Hate Crimes Bill

(CNSNews.com) - A "hate crimes" bill that specifically covers crimes based on "gender identity" and sexual orientation will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, a homosexual advocacy group said.

"Transgender and gay Americans deserve the same clear protections against hate crimes as other Americans," said Human Rights Campaign 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."

The Human Rights Campaign says it has worked "side-by-side" with the bill's lead sponsors, including Reps. Barney Frank(D-Mass.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), John Conyers Jr.(D-Mich.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) in writing the bill.

Solmonese says "public support is there" for including transgender people in hate crime laws.

The introduction of the bill also heals a rift in the GLBT community.

Last August, transgender advocacy groups were protesting the Human Rights Campaign's "dubious efforts" to include them in federal legislation.

At the time, transgenders accused the homosexual community of throwing them overboard, in an effort to make federal legislation more palatable to lawmakers.

See Earlier Story: Homosexuals Debate What to Do About Transsexuals (4 Aug. 2004)