WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the nation's premier racial justice organizations, released a letter requesting that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra conduct a thorough review and investigation into a recent anti-transgender incident in California. This past week, Jazmina Saavedra — a political candidate in California — recorded a non-consensual video of her following a transgender woman into a bathroom, harassing her and repeatedly and intentionally misgendering her. The candidate then posted the video online and later posted anti-transgender language on her social media platforms. If the incident as described and captured by the candidate is accurate, the incident may qualify as a hate crime, which under California law can include misdemeanors in addition to physical assault and other crimes. The letter to Attorney General Becerra asks for a full investigation into this potential hate crime and clear invasion of the harassed woman's privacy.
Read the letter here lawyerscommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/LCCRUL-HRC-Letter-to-AG-Becerra.pdf .
"Across our country, we are seeing a spike in hate crimes targeted at our nation's most vulnerable communities. We urge State Attorney General Becerra to use every tool in his arsenal to determine whether Ms. Saavedra's conduct violates state law," said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "As the federal government continues to retreat from its responsibility to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, we urge state law enforcement agencies to step in, fill the void and protect the rights of survivors."
"Jazmina Saavedra's actions are dangerous. She invaded a woman's privacy while harassing and misgendering the victim. This type of discriminatory behavior is unacceptable, especially from someone seeking to represent the people of California," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "HRC joins Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in requesting that Attorney General Becerra launch a full and thorough investigation into this potential hate crime."
In November of 2017, the HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report detailing the epidemic of anti-transgender violence over the past five years.
The Stop Hate Project of the Lawyers' Committee works to strengthen the capacity of local government as well as community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with legal and social services resources and creating new ones in response to identified needs.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of hate crimes, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. The Lawyers' Committee leads the Stop Hate Project which works to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, local government, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with legal and social services resources and creating new ones in response to identified needs. The Project's resource and reporting hotline for hate incidents, 1-844-9-NO-HATE ( 1-844-966-4283 ), connects people and organizations combating hate with the resources and support they need.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.