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Elizabeth Warren vows, if elected, to read names of killed trans people in White House rose garden every year

Lily Wakefield December 20, 2019
Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty)

Elizabeth Warren has vowed that if she is elected President of the United States, she will read the names of killed trans women of colour in the White House rose garden every year.

During the PBS NewsHour/POLITICO Democratic debate on Thursday December 19, a moderator asked Warren’s fellow presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders what he would do to end the epidemic of violence against trans people.

The moderator said: “Senator Sanders, at least 22 transgender people were killed in the United States this year, most of them transgender women of colour.”

She acknowledged his commitment to passing the Equality Act, but added: “If elected, what more would you do to stop violence against transgender people?”

Sanders responded: “We need moral leadership in the White House. We need a president who will do everything humanly possible to end all forms of discrimination against the transgender community, against the African-American community, against the Latino community, and against all minorities in this country.”

He also said that he would make healthcare available to all regardless of “their sexual orientation or their needs”, although he did not mention gender identity.

When Warren was asked the same question, she focused completely on trans people, and said: “The transgender community has been marginalised in every way possible. One thing that the President of the United States can do is lift up their potential, lift up their voices, lift up their lives.

She added: “Here is a promise I make. I will go to the Rose Garden once every year to read the names of transgender women, of people of colour, who have been killed in the past year.”

Elizabeth Warren
Democratic presidential candidates (L-R) Andrew Yang, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tom Steyer await the start of the Democratic presidential primary debate. (Mario Tama/Getty)

She continued: “I will make sure that we read their names so that as a nation we are forced to address the particular vulnerability on homelessness.

“I would change the rules now that put people in prison based on their birth sex identification rather than their current identification.

“I will do everything I can to make sure that we are an America that leaves no one behind.”

In September, at the Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues, Warren famously read the names of the black trans women who had been murdered so far in 2019 in the US, and got a standing ovation from the audience.

She said at the time: “18 trans women of colour who have been killed so far this year. It is time for a President of the United States of America to say their names.”

More: Bernie Sanders, Democratic debate, Elizabeth Warren, rose garden, trans women of colour, White House

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