Biden, lawmakers mark Transgender Day of Remembrance

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President Biden and members of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus celebrated Transgender Day of Remembrance Sunday, as the country reeled from the mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs that left five people dead and 25 others injured.

“There is no place for violence, hatred and bigotry in America. But 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 unscrupulous attacks. This is especially true for transgender Americans,” Biden said in a statement Thursday.

“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the 32 transgender Americans known to have been taken from us by horrific atrocities this year,” Biden added. “The actual toll is likely much higher, with black and brown transgender women disproportionately targeted.”

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In separate statements, Democratic Representatives Marie Newman (Ill.), Jennifer Wexton (Va.), and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) — co-chairs of the Transgender Equality Task Force of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus — said they were proposing a resolution to save the lives of to remember the lost.

“We have a crisis of violence against trans people in our country, fueled by growing hatred designed to marginalize and villainize the trans community. It is unacceptable and we must fight back,” Wexton said in a statement.

“Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the lives of those killed simply for living openly and authentically, including at least 32 trans Americans this year. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out loud and clearly that trans rights and trans lives matter.”

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Biden also said in his statement that his administration will remain committed to strengthening the rights of the LGBTQ community in the US, and spoke out against the enactment and passage of anti-LGBTQ laws at the state level.

“I continue to urge state leaders to fight the troubling wave of discriminatory state laws against young transgender Americans — legislation that hurts young people who don’t hurt anyone,” Biden said.

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“As Congress is about to pass the bipartisan Respect For Marriage Act, I also reiterate my call to them to also pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue protections for transgender people and all LGBTQI+ Americans.”

Authorities have yet to conclude what prompted the Colorado Springs shooting, but advocacy groups have pointed to hate speech and anti-LGBTQ laws fueling violence against the community.

The 22-year-old gunman reportedly opened fire at Club Q, killing five patrons of the club and wounding 25 others before being restrained by other club-goers, leading to his arrest by authorities shortly afterwards.

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