The Colorado Hate Crimes Law was recently expanded to include sexual orientation and transgender status. This law covers harassment or intent to intimidate based on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
This law covers more than physical violence toward another person. Physical threats in the form of words, action, or damage to property can be constituted as a hate crime.
Strong hate crimes laws send a message to the perpetrator that hate based on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated in the state of Colorado.
Colorado’s transgender-inclusive law was successfully used for the first time in 2009 in the murder case of Angie Zapata, a transgender Coloradan who was brutally murdered by Allen Ray Andrade. Andrade was found guilty of first-degree murder, hate crimes, and theft and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.