Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

House District 52 candidates support stronger hate crimes laws

This morning Democratic candidates for the 52nd House District Eric Stansell and Mike Stewart debated...or as some would have it, politely agreed about most of the issues that were put to them by a group of progressive organizations. Matt Pulle covered the event for the Scene and noted some of the questions and answers:

On the recent spate of violence against gays:

“I will support the expansion of the hate crimes statute.”
“Without question we have to strengthen the laws in this area.”

Randy Cox, president of the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, asked the question. I spoke with Randy after the debate and he said that he actually asked the question in reference to the violence against transgender people. The current hate crimes law covers gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (sexual orientation), but it does not cover transgender people (gender identity).

Still, we're glad that Pulle was there covering the discussion and that Randy was able to ask his question. Even better is the fact that both candidates can be convinced of the need to strengthen the law so we can bring more attention to this issue.

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