Democrats Look to Pass Trans-inclusive Hate Crimes Bill, Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'March 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
Last year the House of Representatives passed legislation to expand hate crimes law to include violent acts motivated by the actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim. But the bill stalled in the Senate over its protection for transgender people and the House went back and passed weakened version of the bill that did not include the transgender language. But even the weaker version did not make it through the Senate.
Now, with an expanded Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress this session and a President who was an original co-sponsor of transgeder-inclusive legislation last year, Democratic leaders are back to pushing the full-force, trans-inclusive version to be passed into law.
Here’s Speaker Pelosi at a breakfast meeting on Tuesday with some progressive bloggers:
“The priorities have been Hate Crimes and ENDA, fully inclusive legislation in those two areas, so we’ll have to have our strategy work around on how we can get those passed, as well as move forward on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
As we know from last year’s debate, “fully inclusive” means that it will include transgender protections.
No bill has been introduced yet. I’ll update when it is. On the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell front, Rep. Ellen Tauscher [D, CA-10] introduced a bill this week that would repeal the Clinton-era ban on gays serving openly in the military. We don’t have that up on OpenCongress yet, but I’ll update this post with a link as soon as we get it.
At the meeting, Pelosi did not give a timeline for passing the bills, but said that they will be passed “when we have the votes.”