Transgender Hate Crime Draws Attention to MD Legislation

A transgender woman was beaten by two women in a Maryland McDonalds after using the restaurant’s women’s bathroom. Chrissy Polis said that no employees intervened when the women began pulling her by the hair, throwing her to the floor, and kicking her repeatedly. The incident was recorded on tape, and police have arrested the young women. Transgender activists have scheduled a rally tonight outside of the McDonalds where the incident occurred to show support for the victim.

“This is precisely the kind of hatred and bigotry that transgender women and men deal with on a daily basis,” said Caroline Temmerand of the GLBT Community Center of Central Maryland.

A 2011 national report on transgender Americans found that 53% of respondents “reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation,” with 3% of respondents reporting physical assault in a retail store and 2% reporting assault in a hotel or restaurant.

Earlier this month, the Maryland state Senate killed a bill, called the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, which would have outlawed discrimination against trans people in housing, employment, and public accommodation.

There are currently 11 states with hate crime laws which protect people victimized on the basis of gender identity or expression. In 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the FY2010 Defense Authorization Bill, which was the first federal law to recognize and provide civil rights protections for transgender people.


TBD.com 4/25/11; Washington Blade 4/25/11; Transgender Law and Policy Institute; The Advocate 4/11/11

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