From the Houston Chronk:
A Houston Community College political science student says he was targeted in a knifepoint robbery and beating at the school’s midtown fine arts building because of his work as a transgender campus activist.
[29 year-old Lance] Reyna suffered a concussion and lost his wallet. The robber, Reyna said, later used his bank cards for purchases.
HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo said campus police will confer with Reyna about what charges should be filed if a suspect is caught. Arguijo said the robber’s image was captured on security video.
Reyna, who is active in several gay and transgender organizations, said the robber uttered a sexual epithet in a “flamboyant” mocking voice as the student washed his hands at a restroom sink. Reyna said the man grabbed his head and thrust a knife to his throat.
Reyna said he fought back but ended up on the floor as the robber punched him and kicked him in the head. Reyna said the man followed him into the restroom, hiding in a stall until he launched the attack.
“I’m not looking for 15 minutes of fame, but I shouldn’t have to be scared to walk down the street because of who I am,” Reyna said. “I’m still a human being. … I’m not committing a crime if I have blue or pink hair.”
Reyna said nothing about him Tuesday should have revealed that he is transgender. He is widely known on campus, however, for his participation in Some Transgenders are Guys, Out Students and Allies and other groups.
So we have a crime against a trans man, possibly because he is trans. According to Reyna:
the Tuesday robbery, coming just days before the Pride Houston festival and parade celebrating the gay rights movement’s 41st anniversary, was a crime prosecutable under Texas’ 2001 James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act.
In May 2001, Gov. Rick Perry signed the Byrd Hate Crimes Act into law, effectively increasing penalties for offenses that targeted victims because of their race, religion, sex, national origin, disability or sexual preference.
Care to guess how our ‘friends’ were willing to let the legisiature define “sexual preference”? Here’s a hint: I’m licensed to practice law in a state, which contains one terminus of I-35 , that has a very-broad non-T-labeled category that actually does cover trans people.
I’m also licensed to practice in Texas.
Here’s a snippet from that state’s Code of Criminal Procedure:
Art. 42.014. FINDING THAT OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED BECAUSE OF BIAS OR PREJUDICE. (a) In the trial of an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or Section 28.02, 28.03, or 28.08, Penal Code, the judge shall make an affirmative finding of fact and enter the affirmative finding in the judgment of the case if at the guilt or innocence phase of the trial, the judge or the jury, whichever is the trier of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the offense was committed or intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant’s bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference.
(b) The sentencing judge may, as a condition of punishment, require attendance in an educational program to further tolerance and acceptance of others.
(c) In this article, “sexual preference” has the following meaning only: a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
Translation? Unless the “sexual epithet” was gay-specific with laser-like accuracy and unless there is no evidence whatsoever that the attacker knew that Reyna was trans, the incident in question is – thanks to the usual suspects – NOT a hate crime under Texas law.
Its not a hate crime in the same way that the incident described in this report from the WI Light in 1998 was not then (and, thanks to the glacial speed of efforts to ‘come back and get’ us, would still not be today) a hate crime under Wisconsin law.
Just two examples of the gay-manufactured lie of ‘incremental progress’ in action.
Will the federal hate crime law – you know, the one that is legitimate (read: inclusive) – be of any help to Reyna?