The Government Equalities Office of the Home Office of the United Kingdom announced Thursday a "plan for action" to advance transgender equality. Transgender is defined as those who have had sex-change operations and those with both male and female sex organs.
According to the plan, there has been a 14-percent increase in "hate crimes" committed against transgender individuals. The law of the United Kingdom, the plan proposes, must be altered in order to protect this segment of the realm. The drafters of the plan point to the lack of sufficient protections for transgender people in the laws of the European Union. Further, there are only two nations in the EU that have enacted strict laws against transgender-related crime.
In order to accomplish the goal of "transgender equality," the ministers of the Home Office recommend amending Section 146 and Schedule 21 of the UK's Criminal Justice Act of 2003. The proposed changes would create a new protected class — transgender — categorizing any crime committed against a member of the class as a "hate crime."
With such a designation comes increased penalties. In the case of the new transgender "hate crimes" guidelines, the minimum sentence for a defendant convicted of murdering a person based on the victim's designation as "transgender" is 30 years. This is twice the current minimum sentence.
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