Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis) has filed HB 0335, which would add gender identity and expression as a hate crimes sentencing enhancement factor. Tennessee law currently includes sexual orientation. Given the vicious attacks on the transgender community in Memphis last year, this bill is a welcome signal. Although it faces an uphill climb, it should provide the occasion for more statewide discussion of hate crimes against transgender persons.
The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition is the lead organization in advocating the bill.