As introduced, the bill adds as an advisory enhancement factor to sentencing that defendant intentionally chose victim of crime based on gender identity or expression. - Amends TCA Section 40-35-114. Sexual orientation is already included in the Tennessee hate crimes law, but gender identity and expression are not. The transgender community is particularly vulnerable to hate crimes. The bill is up in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday.
The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition is the lead organization in advocating for the bill, which they wrote.
The bill would add an advisory sentencing enhancement in cases in which a crime is committed with bias based on gender identity or expression.
In recent years Tennessee has seen some horrible examples of hate crimes based on gender identity or expression. Notable among them is the brutal beating and subsequent murder of Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman from Memphis. Please, send a message that all our citizens are valued and that Tennessee is serious about dealing with crimes of bias.
Thank you for considering my views on this bill.