Transgender Murder Trial First To Use Hate-Crime Status

Victim's Family To Appear In Ad

The first hate-crime case to involve a transgender murder starts in one week in Weld County, and the victim's family will be featured in full-paged advertisements in newspapers nationwide Wednesday.

The goal of the ad is to raise awareness about the crime and push for the passage of federal hate crime legislation.

Allen Andrade is accused of killing Angie Zapata (born Justin Zapata) in her Greeley apartment last year, after he discovered she was still biologically male.

Andrade now faces multiple charges, including a state hate-crime charge.

Federal law currently does not cover hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and gay-rights activists are pushing to have new legislation passed.

"What you're doing is setting policy that this type of behavior is no longer acceptable," said Carlos Martinez, with the GLBT Community Center of Colorado. "I think you start changing the mindset of people and over time, you definitely will see a reduction in hate crimes."

Read more about the Zapata case from the gay and lesbian alliance against defamation.