(Chicago, IL) – February 10, 2012. An Illinois House lawmaker last week introduced legislation that would add “gender identity, military status and immigration status” to Illinois’ list of punishable hate crimes.
“This amendment to the hate crimes bill will create a truly inclusive act that will give law enforcement the tools they need to protect victims who are targeted based on who they are,” said State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), who submitted the plan on February 3.
A report released last July by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs revealed that transgender women make up 44% of all gay or lesbian murder victims. The study also reported a 13% jump in gay hate crimes in 2010.
“Transgender individuals face pervasive discrimination in every part of their lives, and we work with an unconscionable number of transgender individuals who have experienced violence simply because they are transgender,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda.
In addition to Cassidy, House sponsors of the measure, House Bill 4725, include State Reps: Greg Harris (D-Chicago), Deborah Mell (D-Chicago), Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago), and Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).
The legislation is currently in the House Rules Committee.