(Also at Nevada Progressive)
Earlier this week, I testified to The Legislature, in this case The Senate Judiciary Committee, in support of SB 180.
So what exactly is SB 180? Click the above link, then come back to this page to read my testimony below, then please contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 180. Thanks.
When a violent crime is committed, it may seem like a no-brainer to call the police. But when the victim is transgender, the situation all too often becomes much more complicated. The victim might be treated as the criminal, or the victim's case is not taken seriously, or perhaps the victim is too afraid to even report the crime.
This is why SB 180 is needed, and this is why SB 180 should not considered some sort of "special treatment". Rather, it levels the playing field and ensures that everyone in our state is treated equally. Many local law enforcement have had past problems handling crimes against transgender victims, and perpetrators have used excuses like "gay panic defense" to seek leniency from the courts, so there is critical need for state guidance to ensure transgender people are no longer easy targets for violent crime.
Human Rights Campaign has recently analyzed FBI crime statistics and estimated that one of every 1,000 homicide victims in this country is transgender. At least 15 transgender people are killed in hate crimes each year in this country. Just in 2002 alone, 27 known transgender people were killed in hate motivated murders. Remember that these are not just statistics, but real people as well.
I know people who have survived attacks, and I have close friends who have lost friends to violence. This is certainly no laughing matter. The passage of SB 180 may very well mean the difference between life and death, so I urge you to pass SB 180 and help save many Nevadans' lives.