President Biden Warns of Increasing Violence Against LGBTQ Community on 25th Anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s Killing

President Biden Warns of Increasing Violence Against LGBTQ Community on 25th Anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s Killing

President Biden issued a warning on Thursday regarding the escalating violence targeting the LGBTQ community. His remarks came during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the killing of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was brutally attacked and later died of his injuries in a notorious anti-gay hate crime. Biden acknowledged the impact of Shepard’s tragic murder on the American people and praised his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, for transforming his memory into a movement against anti-LGBTQ hate and violence.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by then-President Obama in 2009, expanded federal hate crime legislation to include crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The law also granted federal agencies greater authority to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Judy and Dennis Shepard, in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign, emphasized the need for LGBTQ Americans, particularly the transgender community, to remain positive in the face of increasing political attacks and threats of violence.

Despite progress made over the past 25 years, violence against LGBTQ individuals remains a significant concern. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently warned government and law enforcement agencies about intensifying threats of domestic violence targeting the community. The DHS briefing highlighted issues such as drag-themed events, gender-affirming care, and LGBTQIA+ curricula in schools as potential triggers for violence.

The LGBTQ community has also faced a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation across several states. More than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced this year, with 84 becoming law. Advocates and civil rights groups argue that such legislation and rhetoric create a hostile environment and hinder LGBTQ individuals from living openly. Federal data from 2017 to 2020 shows that LGBTQ individuals, especially transgender people, are more likely to be victims of violent crimes compared to their non-LGBTQ peers.

President Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which aims to amend existing federal anti-discrimination laws to protect individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The proposed legislation, supported by House and Senate Democrats, is seen as crucial in ensuring full civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans.

President Biden’s reelection campaign has garnered support from organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Rights. These groups have emphasized the need for strong leadership to address the increasing hate and violence faced by the LGBTQ community.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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