President Biden and members of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus marked Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, as the country reeled from the mass shooting at a LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs that left five people dead and 25 others wounded.
“There is no place for violence, hatred, and bigotry in America. Yet, tragically, as last night’s attack in Colorado Springs reminds us, too many LGBTQI+ people in the United States—and around the world—continue to face unconscionable attacks. This is especially true for transgender Americans,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the 32 transgender Americans known to have been taken from us this year by horrific acts of brutality,” Biden added. “The true toll is likely much higher, with Black and brown transgender women disproportionately targeted.”
In separate statements, Democratic Reps. Marie Newman (Ill.), Jennifer Wexton (Va.), and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) — co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus’ Transgender Equality Task Force — said they were introducing a resolution to memorialize the lives of those lost.
“We have a crisis of violence targeting transgender people in our country, fueled by growing hate meant to marginalize and villainize the trans community. It’s unacceptable and we must fight back,” Wexton said in a statement.
“Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the lives of those who were killed simply for living openly and authentically, including at least 32 trans Americans this year. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out—loudly and clearly—that trans rights and trans lives matter.”
Biden also said in his statement that his administration will remain committed to strengthening the rights of the LGBTQ community in the U.S., and spoke out against anti-LGBTQ laws being introduced and passed at the state level.
“I continue to urge state leaders to combat the disturbing wave of discriminatory state laws targeting young transgender Americans—legislation that hurts young people who aren’t hurting anyone,” Biden said.
“With Congress poised to pass the bipartisan Respect For Marriage Act, I also reiterate my call for them to likewise pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue protections to transgender and all LGBTQI+ Americans.”
Authorities have yet to conclude what motivated the shooting in Colorado Springs, however advocacy groups have pointed to hate speech and anti-LGBTQ laws as stoking violence against the community.
The 22-year-old gunman reportedly opened fire inside Club Q, killing five patrons at the club and wounding 25 others before being restrained by other clubgoers, resulting in him being arrested by authorities shortly after.
Source: The Hill