Yesterday, the Obama Administration signed into law new hate crimes legislation that extends federal protections to victims of hate crimes on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The law was attached to a military spending measure.
When I read the list of groups covered, I found it remarkable that gender and disability were not currently covered in federal hate crimes law. Better late than never, I suppose.
While federal protections for victims of hate crimes is important, having those same protections on the state level is of equal or greater importance.
Last session State Rep. Jeanne Richardson and State Sen. Beverly Marrero introduced a measure that would extend hate crimes protections to people on the grounds of “gender, or gender identity or expression”. The bill made it out of sub-committee in the House, but was taken off the calendar in committee.
Tonight at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis there will be a discussion panel (Facebook link) featuring Rep. Richardson and Sen. Marrero, as well as Memphis attorney Murray Wells, hate crime survivor Jack Robinson, and Tennessee Equality Project Board Member Darlene Fike.
The discussion panel starts at 5:30 this evening in rooms 250 &252 at the University. Parking will be available in the Central Parking Lot across from the law school. Assurances have been made by University Parking Services that no tickets will be issued for off-campus visitors who lack a parking hang tag the evening of the event. Please be considerate of the University Holiday Inn’s parking lot, which is reserved for its paying guests.
Come out and be a part of the discussion.