In our ongoing mission to transform America into a country with a procedurally just society that treats people of all creeds and orientations equally, the Center for Justice Research (CJR) recognizes the contributions of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community to justice reform and the community’s continuous fight for equality.
To this day, basic human rights for trans people continue to be denied. The Lone Star State still allows the “gay/trans panic” defense, where a defendant can argue they panicked after they discovered an individual is gay or transexual, causing them to assault or kill the victim. The gay/trans panic defense, according to state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, can lead to lessened or even eliminated criminal penalties if the accused claims the victim’s gender or sexual orientation “triggered a mental breakdown that resulted in the loss of self control and subsequent assault.” Hinojosa’s House Bill 73 aimed to eliminate the gay/trans panic defense; it was defeated during this legislative session.
New bills were proposed this legislative session that are aimed at directly harming transpeople including Senate Bill 1646, which blocks healthcare related to transitioning; House Bill 68, making medical treatments or operations that transitions a child’s sexual orientation count as child abuse; House Bill 2693 and House Bill 4014, prohibiting gender transitioning or gender reassingment of children.
These bills specifically disenfranchise members of the trans community, denying them human rights.
Dangers in Criminal Justice that LGBTQ+ Members Face
Today, LGBTQ+ people are 2.25 times more likely to be arrested than heterosexual people are. The disparity grows even wider when it comes to women, as lesbian and bisexual women are 4 times as likely to be arrested, according to Prison Policy. Research shows LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison; they are overrepresented in the juvenile criminal justice system, and routinely denied medical treatment while incarcerated.
CJR vows to continue to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community by acknowledging the ongoing prejudices against them in our criminal justice system, and produce evidence-based solutions for the systemic failures that harm LGBTQ+ people.
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Center for Justice Research provides a culturally responsive approach to mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. Our targeted research advances data-driven solutions by supporting innovation, collecting committed reformers, compelling policy arguments and engendering broad consensus amongst community stakeholders.