Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Another Transgender Shooting In Memphis
TransGriot Note: This news is courtesy of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, and it's less than 24 hours after several Shelby County Commissioners loudly said there was no need for an anti-discrimination ordinance in Memphis.
We were contacted by a reporter with Channel 3 (WREG-TV) who provided a copy of an affidavit of a shooting that occurred in South Memphis on Wednesday, May 27. The man arrested for the shooting, Terron Taylor, told police that he did it because the victim “misrepresented his gender.”
The victim, identified as Kelvin Denton, is in critical condition after being shot in the nose and throat.
At this point, we do not know any details about Denton’s life, but regardless, we abhor this sort of violence for any reason. Our thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition go out to Kelvin, family and friends, for a speedy recovery.
We urge Shelby County authorities to prosecute Taylor aggressively and not permit the use of the trans-panic defense.
We also urge members of the Tennessee General Assembly to pass HB0335 by Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis) and 21 others, and SB0253 by Sens. Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) and Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis), as soon as they return in January. This bill would add “gender identity or expression” as a hate crimes sentencing enhancement factor to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-114. Passage of this bill will make it easier for state and local authorities to track and prosecute hate crimes against all LGBT Tennesseans.
If you do not know the names of your state legislators, go to http://www.capitol.tn.gov.
In addition, we urge swift passage in the United States Senate of S.909, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The House of Representatives has already passed this legislation, which is supported by President Obama, by a vote of 249 to 175.
Please contact both of Tennessee’s Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and tell them you want to them to support S.909.
We also ask everyone to continue talking to both Representatives and Senators about the importance of the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. We anticipate that ENDA will be introduced in the coming weeks. It is time to end job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. If LGBT people can find, and hold, decent paying jobs, then we are less likely to end up on the streets where we become vulnerable to hate crimes.