President Joe Biden on Saturday condemned hatred of LGBTQ+ people and called for addressing the “pandemic of violence” against transgender women to mark the fifth anniversary of the Pulse gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
In a statement, Biden also called for increased gun control in his country and confirmed that he will sign a law to turn into a “national monument” the bar where the worst attack on the LGBTQ+ community in U.S. history was recorded, a shooting that left 49 dead.
“We need to recognize the particular impact of gun violence on LGBTQ+ communities across our country,” Biden said.
“We must end the hatred and inequalities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and hatred against transgender women, especially non-white transgender women,” she added.
“We must do more than remember victims of gun violence and all of the survivors, family members, and friends left behind,” Biden wrote. “We must act.”
At least 44 transgender or non-binary gender people were shot dead or by other means in the United States in 2020, the deadliest year for that group in the last decade; and 28 others have died in the same way so far in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
“We must create a world in which our LGBTQ+ youth are loved, accepted and feel safe living according to their truth,” Biden stressed.
That’s why he called on the Senate to “quickly” pass the Equality Act, already endorsed by the House of Representatives last February, that would prohibit “discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity” in public spaces and in federally funded social programs.
He also added that Congress should “ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines,” resurrecting a national veto on such rifles that was passed in the United States in 1994 but expired in 2004 without congress renewing it.
And he stressed that the Senate must pass three bills that have already received the approval of the Lower House and that would close loopholes in the background check system for gun buyers, among other measures.
Any of those measures are unlikely to must musters the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate, where the stinging Democratic minority should convince ten Republicans to join them.
As for the shooting in Pulse, which this Saturday marks five years, Biden recalled that a few days later he visited the area as vice president, shocked by that act of hatred against people “young, black, of Asian origin and Latinos,” many of them of Puerto Rican origin.
The president confirmed that in the coming days he will sign a law endorsed by both houses of Congress to turn Pulse into a “national monument, “which ” will make it clear” that the nightclub is now a “sacred territory.”
Photo Source: AP