Transgender Activist Was Targeted and Beaten Amid ‘Bathroom Bill’ Debate

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police say a Texas transgender activist beaten in a carjacking was targeted because of her gender identity, further raising tensions as state lawmakers advance revived legislation critics call an anti-LGBT “bathroom bill.”

Court documents filed Monday show 17-year-old Rayshad Deloach and his 26-year-old brother, Raymond, are charged with beating and pulling a gun on Stephanie Martinez before stealing her car in Austin last week.

Raymond Deloach told police the brothers targeted Martinez because she was transgender.

Martinez has vocally opposed a bill requiring transgender Texans to use public restrooms according to their birth-certificate gender that’s nearing passage in the Senate. It failed during Texas’ regular legislative session but was revived for an ongoing special session.

The day after her attack, Martinez testified against the bill before a Texas Senate committee.