Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TN Hate Crimes Bill Moves Forward

Tennessee Hate Crimes Bill Moves Forward

On a day when a jury in Greeley, Colorado, found a man guilty for First Degree murder for the killing of Angie Zapata, a transgender woman, and when members of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives defeated attempts to strip gender identity from H.R.1913, the Federal Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Tennessee's House Criminal Practice Subcommittee passed HB0335, which would add "gender identity or expression" to Tennessee's hate crimes sentencing enhancement statute. The committee approved the bill by a voice vote with no questions and no debate.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition thanks all of you who contacted members of the Criminal Practice Subcommittee. We especially appreciate the assistance of the Tennessee Equality Project for mobilizing their members is support of the bill.

We now move forward to the full House Judiciary Committee:

Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro), Chair,
Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), Vice-Chair,
Janis Sontany (D-Nashville), Secretary,

Eddie Bass (D-Prospect),
Karen Camper (D-Memphis), Bill Co-sponsor,
Vance Dennis (R-Savannah),
Chad Faulkner (R-Luttrell),
Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville),
Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown),
Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma),
Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), Bill Co-sponsor,
Eric Watson (R-Cleveland),

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on HB0335 next Wednesday, April 29.

We would also like to thank those members who are signing on as co-sponsors of the bill. Those who are joining Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis), Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) and Larry Turner (D-Memphis) are:

Karen Camper (D-Memphis), Judiciary Member,
Cooper, Barbara (D-Memphis),
DeBerry, Lois M. (D-Memphis), Speaker Pro Tempore,
Hardaway, G. A. (D-Memphis),
Shaw, Johnny (D-Bolivar),
Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), Judiciary Member,

In addition, we thank State Senator Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis) for joining Beverly Marrero as a co-sponsor of the companion bill in the Senate, SB0235.

Marisa Richmond


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