The White House issued a statement on Saturday recognizing a day of remembrance for the transgender community, citing those who were killed in acts of violence.
President Biden called on state and local leaders to follow suit of his administration to advance policies that aid and protect LGBTQ people.
“Transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But no person should have to be brave just to live in safety and dignity. Today, we remember. Tomorrow—and every day—we must continue to act,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.
The president also condemned various bills across GOP-led state legislatures that are aimed at curbing transgender policies.
Several states have considered a record number of anti-transgender bills, which target bathroom policies and trans participation in youth sports.
“These bills are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation, they are un-American, and they endanger the safety and well-being of our children,” Mr. Biden said, while also advocating the Senate to pass the Equality Act.
The administration held a candle-lit vigil in the White House, which involved lighting 46 candles in honor of transgender and gender-diverse individuals killed in the country. A 47th candle was lit for those who lost their lives to violence globally.
Mr. Biden also listed out actions taken by the administration to advance transgender rights, including expanding federal IDs, making gender-affirming care an essential health benefit, and investing in research to look into the effects of conversion therapy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also honored those who lost their lives in the transgender community.
“Each Transgender Day of Remembrance, our nation comes together to honor the countless transgender Americans who have suffered unthinkable violence or have been brutally murdered simply for who they are,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said in a statement. “While we tragically do not know all of the names of those we have lost, we hold their memories in our hearts and pray for the families in anguish.”
With 46 reported deaths, the Human Rights Campaign found that 2021 held a record number of violent deaths targeting transgender and gender non-conforming people since 2013, the first year the organization began tracking this data.