The transgender community faces extreme discrimination according to an Illinois advocacy group. The Civil Rights Agenda is launching a transgender rights project and an advisory committee that will include transgender individuals. Anthony Martinez is the Civil Rights Agenda's director. He says there are many obstacles facing the transgender population:
"They face a much higher rate of unemployment than any other minority group, including gay and lesbian individuals. They face a higher rate of murder, of homelessness, of police abuse."
Martinez says his organization believes transgender rights should be at the forefront of the human rights agenda in Illinois. Transgender people say their biological make-up differs from their gender identity. Legislation is being pushed that would include protections for transgender people within Illinois' hate crime law.
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