Reflections from Keith Kron, Director of UUA Office of BGLT Concerns
Today, a Colorado jury became the first in the nation to find someone guilty of a hate crime against a trans person. Up until now, people were able to use a “trans panic” defense, saying that they were deceived and panicked when learning the person they were meeting was transgender. See a news report on the story.
This is historic and can now help prosecute other hate crimes in other states that are trans related. Colorado is one of 11 states that includes trans people in its hate crime legislation.
Many UU congregations observe the National Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov 20th), and the UUA has resources to help.
The decision comes down days before the National Center for Transgender Equality hosts its Lobby Days where many, including many UUs and the UUA, will gather to support a federal legislation to support trans inclusion in hate crime and nondiscrimination laws.
There is still much work to be done before we see full equality for trans people, but today’s decision is a significant step in a better direction. The decision begins to signal that being afraid of trans people will not excuse violence toward trans people. It’s high time.