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Congress takes on violence against trans people with new task force

Michelle O'Toole November 19, 2015

The United States Congress has founded the country’s first Transgender Equality Task Force as a response to growing violence against trans people.

Launched by the House LGBT Equality Caucus earlier this week, the task force will be chaired by Democrat Representative Mike Honda who earlier this year revealed that he has a transgender granddaughter.

“It is our responsibility as leaders and public officials to ensure that all people are free from the fear of persecution, prejudice, or violence just for being who they are,” said Mr Honda.

“As the Transgender Equality Task Force and Founder and Chair of the Congressional Caucus to End Bullying, I am proud to lead the effort in the Congress to work towards full acceptance and understanding.”

He will be joined on the task force by Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who started backing LGBT rights after her son revealed he was transgender.

She is the only Republican representative on the task force, as well as the only Republican member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus.

The task force will function in a very similar way to the UK’s recent transgender equality inquiry, where they will gather and evaluate oral and written evidence and make recommendations for future legislation.

So far this year 24 transgender people have been killed in the US

The latest being Zella Ziona who was shot and killed whilst she was shopping late last month.

Laverne Cox has previously referred to the rates of violence against trans people as a “state of emergency”

Last week a Tokyo trans man was found dead in his home, and appeared to have had his face ‘cut off’.

More: Democrats, house of representatives, ileana ros lehtinen, lgbt caucus, Mike Honda, Republicans, US

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