The Transgendered Truth about Hate Crimes Legislation
by Laura Amato
In April of 2007 both the Congress (John Conyers JR.) and the Senate (Edward Kennedy) Intoduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act (Mathew Shepard Act). It strengthens the ability of law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute the more than 9,000 bias-motivated, violent crimes reported each year. As the FBI does not keep any statistics on crimes against Transgendered people that number does not include us. According to the FBI our deaths do not count as numerous as they are.
Note that even though this is claimed to be an anti-discrimination bill, it apply's ONLY to Violent Hate Crimes committed against GLBT people. For now it means that its ok to discriminate or spew hate against you in every other area of your life unless your state has GLBT legislation in place (most don't). There are many other hate crimes that are not violent that are committed against Gays, Lesbians and the Transgendered such as hate speech, slurs and vandalism. Discrimination against LGBT's though is not considered a hate crime angainst us oddly enough. This means you can still lose your apartment and job to discrimaination.. Many state Department of Moter Vehicles (DMV) still discriminate by placing your original birth deignated "M" or "F" marker on your drivers license despite the gender you present as. This effectively and forcefully "OUTS" you to anyone who sees your license for identification purposes no matter how well you pass. If you can't obtain Gender Reassignment Surgery for medical or financial reasons you cannot change your gender marker. Social Security discrimnates for the same reasons. If you travel as yourself that marker is reason enough to pull you out of airport lines. Some have been forced to change and were publically embarrassed. Gays and Lesbians do not have this problem.
It would seem that Religous Organizations would be for the Hate Crimes Act and against violence. While a minority are, most are against it. They fear their rights to hate you, call you names or even kill you will be lost. They call them "Thought Crimes". The current Hate Crime Legislation is against "Violent Crime" only, not speech or other actions. This means they can still sling all their favorite anti-LGBT slurs in the name of Jesus at you all day long. They can still make your life a living hell and drive you to suicide. They just can't stone you to death anymore. Even Fred Phelps will still be able to carry his hate messges right up to your front door. The Bill will not change that unfortunately. So please religous nuts, relax you can still bash us as long as you don't kill us. You can still do hate crimes against us just not violent ones.
Hate against anyone is wrong but legal though it shouldn't be. They quote the same "Good Book" that advocates stoning to push outdated bible verses aginst us. Imagine being stoned for sitting on the marital bed if your wife had her period. Look it up it's in there. They are very selective in what they choose to follow. They picked verses against us only to justify their hate and they call it Religous freedom. They invented Hate Crimes. Meanwhile the message of Jesus to love their fellow man got lost along the way.
I am very grateful to Representative Conyers Jr. and Senator Kennedy for their "Violent Hate Crime Legislation". However other hate crimes against us will remain. Many users here have had rocks with hate messages attached through car and house windows and grafitti painted on thir houses. Until this kind of thing stops our quality of life will remain far below the rest of US citizens.