Iowa Legislature: Add Gender Identity to Iowa’s Hate Crime LawsNovember 8th, 2017
This year alone, at least 24 transgender and gender nonconforming individuals have been murdered in the United States. Due to misgendering or lack of familial acceptance, it is estimated there are many more cases involving the murder of transgender individuals.There is a Transgender Day of Remembrance because of the large number of murders committed against the transgender community every year.
Transgender individuals experience higher rates of violent crime than their cisgender peers. One study estimates that half of all transgender individuals will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. These violent crimes occur because transgender, gender nonconforming, and genderfluid individuals are targeted because of their identity.When the motive for a violent crime is based on the victim’s identity, that is when it becomes a hate crime. The motive is to cause harm to someone because of who they are.
Laws are a statement of the values we hold true as a society. The lack of inclusion of gender identity in our state’s hate crimes law is a statement to transgender Iowans that they are “less than.” Transgender Iowans are a part of every community in our state – they are our neighbors, they are our co-workers, they are our students, and they deserve to be protected just like anyone else from violent crimes.
In 2016, the Iowa Senate voted to include gender identity in Iowa’s hate crime statute. The bill did not move forward in the Iowa House. Tell Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature that it is time to add Gender Identity to Iowa’s Hate Crime Laws. Sign this petition and share!