Vice President Kamala Harris made an unannounced appearance at Saturday’s LGBTQ+ pride event in Washington, where she advocated greater legal protections for transgender people in the United States.
Clad in a pink blazer and a shirt emblazoned with the phrase “love is love,” Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, joined the Capital Pride Walk and Rally as it approached Freedom Plaza, not from the White House.
“Happy Pride,” the vice president said to cheers from people lining the sidewalks.
“We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing,” Harris said in brief remarks during the rally in Freedom Plaza.
“There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed,” she said hours after the White House issued a statement from President Joe Biden marking the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
A crowd of gays, lesbians and trans people, the vast majority of them Hispanic, were enjoying a “Latin Night” at the Pulse club on June 12, 2016, when a lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
“Five years ago today in Orlando in the middle of Pride Month, our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQ+ community in American history, and at the time, the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman,” the president said.
Pointing to “gun violence’s particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation,” Biden called on the Senate to “swiftly pass the Equality Act, legislation that will ensure LGBTQ+ Americans finally have equal protection under law.”
At least 44 transgender and/or nonbinary people were slain in the US in 2020, making it the deadliest year in a decade for the transgender-nonbinary community, according to figures compiled by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Another 28 individuals identifying as transgender or nonbinary have been murdered so far this year, HRC said. EFE
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