Target: Councilman Jack Ford of Toledo, Ohio
Goal: Advocate for stronger nondiscrimination laws to protect transgender people
A brutal attack on a transgender woman in Toledo, Ohio has prompted activists and legislators to call for stricter nondiscrimination laws aimed at protecting Ohio’s LGBT population. As anti-transgender violence escalates tremendously across the country, strict hate crime statues are imperative to protecting LGBT people from violent crimes.
Candice Rose Milligan, 33, born Shawn Milligan, was assaulted at a busy intersection after being called trans-phobic slurs by a number of men. One of the men allegedly shouted, “That’s a dude in a dress,” before the violence ensued. Milligan was kicked in the head, repeatedly punched, and then robbed for her cell phone. She was later taken to a nearby hospital where she had her head wounds stapled and jaw wired shut due to a broken mandible.
Milligan, who is a well-known trans activist in the Toledo community, has since been released from the hospital, but many activists and legislators argue that the state’s lack of a hate crime statute will not lead to justice. Ohio currently does not include nontraditional gender identity or expression as a protected class under the state’s hate crime law.
Further, without passing this bill, which will expand the law to include crimes committed against people because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, Milligan’s attackers could walk away with simple robbery and assault charges. Sign the petition to encourage Ohio to enforce stronger nondiscrimination laws.
Dear Councilman Ford,
The recent brutal attack on a Toledo trans rights activist is nothing short of appalling. I’ve recently learned of Ohio’s shoddy hate crime statute and believe that it’s time for reform.
Anti-LGBT violence is at an all time high in this country, with more than 100,000 reported hate crime offenses occurring within the last decade. Trans people face a shockingly high amount of prejudice, as more than 51% of trans-identifying people report being attacked or assaulted because of their gender identity or expression.
This issue has simply gotten out of hand and Candice Milligan’s recent attack proves that there is not enough being done to protect transgendered people from brutality. With the passing of this bill, countless trans people living in Ohio will no longer live in fear of being who they are, as they would be protected to the highest extent of the law.
I urge you to immediately expand Ohio’s hate crime statute to include LGBT discrimination and prejudice, and use federal hate crime laws to convict the men responsible for terrorizing Candice Milligan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: lorenzinhos via everystockphoto