President Biden marked Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday, calling the level of violence against transgender individuals “unacceptable.”
“There is no place for hate in America and no one should be discriminated against simply for being themselves,” Biden said in a statement.
“Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance we are reminded that there is more to do meet that promise, as we grieve the 26 transgender Americans whose lives were taken this year. While each one of these deaths is a tragedy – the true toll of those victimized is likely even higher, with the majority of those targeted being women of color.”
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Biden touted steps his administration has taken to strengthen rights for the LGBTQ community, citing the reversal of the Trump White House’s decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military and an executive action to bolster civil rights for all LGBTQ Americans.
Biden also noted the creation of the LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership — through the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services — to collaborate with community organizations and provide safety resources.
“We must never be silent in the face of hate,” Biden said. “As we mourn the loss of transgender Americans taken too soon this year, we must also recommit ourselves to never stop fighting until all Americans can live free from discrimination.”
Biden’s statement comes as Republican-led states have rolled back transgender rights over the past few years, and Republican presidential candidates have vowed to restrict support for gender-affirming care and lashed out against the inclusion of transgender women and girls in sports.
More than 100 state bills have been introduced this year seek to restrict access to care, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, despite consensus among most major medical organizations that gender-affirming care for both transgender youths and adults is safe and medically necessary.