Nancy Pelosi warns about ‘heartbreaking’ spike in transgender murders
US House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has addressed a spike in the murder of transgender people.
The senior Democratic politician, who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives before her party lost the majority, delivered a stark warning about the number of trans women who have died in recent times.
As Speaker in 2009, Pelosi passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which outlawed homophobic and transphobic crime amid fierce opposition.
Asked about the 21 murders of trans women in the US so far this year, she said: “You mention the hate crimes bill we passed when we did – at that time, there was some resistance.
“People would say to me: You can pass this hate crimes bill in a second if you didn’t include transgender.
“And I said: Well, I’m never going to pass it in a million years if we don’t include transgender because it’s important for it to be inclusive, and transgender people are probably the most in need of a hate crimes bill.
“We can pass a law, we can help to break down barriers in people’s minds – now we have to get to their hearts.
“It is heartbreaking to hear of violence against anyone, and the vulnerability of our transgender community.”
She added that the trans community themselves must take the lead in any efforts to address their problems.
The Democrat said: “I met some of the transgender community in San Francisco recently about a number of issues, where we go on the equality bill that we’re very proud of, to broaden [anti-discrimination laws] to include many other ends of discrimination.
“What I said to them is: we want to listen specifically to the transgender community to hear what some of their suggestions might be as we go forward, as we see this sadness.
“We want everything to be inclusive, but in order to enforce the law and we have to listen to the community, because sadly, they’re on the front line of this.”
Watch the clip via the Washington Blade below: