Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Day of Remembrance

With Assemblymember Paul Koretz and representatives from the Southern California Transgender Community Coalition, I spoke at a press conference to announce the Day of Remembrance for victims of hate crimes against transgendered individuals. You might not have known that:
  • the murder rate of transgendered persons is 17 times the national average and higher than any other minority group
  • 100% of recorded hate crimes against transgendered persons in LA County are violent
  • transgendered persons have a higher rate of HIV infection than any group.
The sign behind me in the picture reads "How Many Transgenders Have To Die Before You Get Involved"; one of the ways to get involved is to ask your representative to support AB 1160, introduced by Sally Lieber. Pending in the California State Assembly, AB 1160 would eliminate the “Panic Defense” so that defendants would not be eligible for a reduced “voluntary manslaughter” charge by contending that they were provoked to murder by discovering a victim’s disability, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

My highest regard goes out to those brave individuals who have fought discrimination to speak out for equality for all.