While the rest of the community was celebrating the news of Allen Andrade's conviction for the murder of Angie Zapata, there was good news coming out of Olympia for the Washington transgender community as Governor Chris Gregoire (D) signed Senate Bill 5952 into law on April 22.
The new law opens the door for attacks against transgender people in her state to be prosecuted as a hate crime. It goes into effect 3 months after the Sunday, April 26 adjournment of the 2009 legislative session.
Under current Washington law, it’s a felony to threaten, damage the property of,
or physically injure a person because of ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
The sexual orientation definition in the law just covered gay, straight or bisexual people. The bill signed by Gov. Gregoire Wednesday adds “gender expression or identity” to the definition, making the law apply to attacks on transgender people.
Congratulations to all the peeps in Washington state who made that happen.