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April 16, 2024

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Coloradans from Gender-Related, Bias-Motivated Crimes Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Judiciary Committee today passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representative Mike Weissman to better protect Coloradans from gender-related, bias-motivated crimes. SB24-189 would add transgender identity to Colorado’s bias-motivated crimes and harassment laws.

“The numbers do not lie; the LGBTQ+ community is encountering increased violence and hate crimes,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “This bill modifies Colorado law to include transgender identity as a protected class and works to ensure perpetrators of bias-motivated crimes are held accountable by our criminal justice system. We know trans, nonbinary and gender-expansive people across the country are combating increased threats and violence, and I’m proud to live in a state that steps up to protect our LGBTQ+ neighbors.”

SB24-189, also sponsored by Matt Soper, R-Delta, passed by a vote of 9-1. The bill would improve protections for Coloradans by adding the definition of transgender identity to the protected classes included in Colorado’s bias-motivated crimes and harassment laws. The bill also redefines "sexual orientation" as used in Colorado’s bias-motivated crimes and harassment statutes.

This important legislation comes on the heels of recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which revealed the highest number of anti-LGBTQ+, anti-trans and gender non-conforming hate crimes ever reported. Additionally, the number of hate crimes based on gender identity increased by over 32 percent from 2021 to 2022.

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