A state lawmaker says Michigan should expand its hate crime law.
State Senator Adam Hollier says the law should also cover violence or intimidation based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. He says the threats against LGBT people are real, and range from threats and assault to murder.
“What we’ve seen with transgender individuals is that they are being targeted by people who don’t like how they live, and that’s not something that these individuals chose,” he says. “It’s how they are.”
Hollier says LGBT people should be protected because hate crime laws are supposed to address the intent of perpetrators of threats or violence.
“Because terrorism is all about intent," he says. “Intent to encourage people not to do something, to incite fear.”
Hollier is a Democrat from Detroit.
“I represent a primarily African-American community, and the people with the lowest life expectancy are trans women of color,” he says. “We talk about these issues, and there are very real issues that happens, and that’s we don’t extend the protections that allows them to continue to live their lives safely.”
Michigan’s hate crime law currently covers violence and threats based on race, color, religion, or gender.
The Legislature’s Republican leadership has not taken a position on the legislation.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s press secretary says she has not read the bill, but she favors a law that extends hate crime penalties to crimes against LGBT victims.