On Transgender Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember the many transgender people who have lost their lives to hate, a gunman entered a nightclub in Colorado that celebrated LGBTQ+ people and opened fire killing five people and injuring eighteen. This act of terror is not an isolated incident, but happens against a backdrop of politicians stoking the fires of hatred against LGBTQ+ people. Demagoguery about bathrooms and whether trans people can play sports; don’t say gay laws and the open attacks on students in public schools who do not conform to straight cis gender norms; and so-called religious exemptions that are nothing more than a thin veil to justify discrimination, have created a climate that has and will continue to lead to these kinds of violent acts.
The Washington Lawyers’ Committee stands with LGBTQ+ people in the struggle for full equality and recognizes that the struggle for LGBTQ+, and LGBTQ+ people of color especially, is far too often one of life and death. It is long past time to make discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity a thing of the past and to repair the damage of the legacy of hate.