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Hate Crime Laws

Jurisdictions with Transgender-Inclusive Hate Crime Laws

(The links below will take you directly to the respective state's statute when available)

* Pennsylvania amended its hate crimes law in 2002 to cover crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and several other factors, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2710, but in 2008 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision striking down that amendment due to a procedural defect in the way the law was passed. Marcavage v. Rendell, 936 A.2d 188 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2007), order aff'd, 597 Pa. 371, 951 A.2d 345 (2008).

Hate Crime Issues in the News:

President Obama Signs Trans-Inclusive Hate Crimes Law (October 28, 2009): President Obama today signed the FY2010 Defense Authorization Bill, which includes the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This historic legislation is the first federal law to recognize the existence of, and provide civil rights protections for, transgender people. It provides for the tracking of hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability, providing assistance to local authorities and gathering information about these crimes.

July 2008 Pennsylvania: In 2008, Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned the 2002 amendments to the hate crimes law that added sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, gender, and mental and physical disability, based on the procedural way the legislation was passed by the legislature, not the content of the law.

September 2006 San Francisco, CA: The nation's first bill to address use of panic strategies, the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act (AB 1160), was signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Authored by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and Sponsored by Equality California, the bill puts California firmly on record as opposing a defendant's use of societal bias against their victim in order to decrease their own culpability for a crime.

Winter 2003 Southern Poverty Law Center: From their quarterly magazine, Intelligence Report, "Disposable People: A wave of violence engulfs the transgendered, whose murder rate may outpace that of all other hate killings". This article does exceptional report on hate crimes against transgendered people. 

September 5, 2003 Bitter tears over unnecessary deaths: Planet Out column by Gwendolyn Ann Smith on the D.C. violence wave against transgendered people.

July 24, 2000 Watershed of Mourning At the Border of Gender: By Nina Siegal, The New York Times.


US. jurisdictions that have passed non-discrimination laws

Jurisdictions with good case law

, 2003
Last edited: 10/28/2009