Irish lawmakers are set to make transgender people a protected class in the country, making it easier for anyone who targets them to be charged with a hate crime.
The Irish Cabinet has approved a bill that says anyone who is convicted of purposefully inciting hatred or violence against a person due to their gender identity or expression could face up to five years in prison, reported The Irish Times.
The updates to Irish hate crimes law – which also included making disabled people a protected class – were reportedly made based on international best practices.
To protect freedom of speech, the bill also says that “communication” solely involving the criticism or discussion of a protected class will not be considered enough to incite violence or hate.
The law will also reportedly include a “demonstration test” that assesses whether a crime is considered a hate crime based on whether a perpetrator expressed hatred about someone’s identity while committing a crime against them.
Other “protected characteristics” already established in the nation include nationality, religion, race, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, and national origin.