The Orlando shooting was the deadliest anti-LGBT attack in U.S. history — but it wasn’t an isolated incident.
We need to do more to protect LGBT Americans from bigotry and hate.
Sunday’s horrific attack at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, was the worst mass shooting in American history — and the deadliest attack on a community that is painfully familiar with violence and fear.
For decades, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have endured discrimination, harassment, and violence with disturbing regularity. And despite the progress we’ve made toward equality, they continue to face bigotry in their daily lives and are disproportionately targets of hate-motivated attacks.
The 49 people killed in Orlando on Sunday were victims of terror, but they were also victims of deep-seated hate. Their lives were taken in the middle of Pride Month in what should have been a safe space for people to openly express themselves and celebrate who they are.
And it didn’t happen in a vacuum. Discrimination against LGBT Americans is still permitted — and in some cases, enshrined in law — in jurisdictions across the country.
In 2015, a landmark Supreme Court ruling made marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states — but the same year saw a rash of new state laws undermining legal protections for LGBT Americans.
Twenty states do not currently recognize violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity as hate crimes. And violence against transgender Americans, particularly those of color, has reached a historic high.
Generations of LGBT Americans have fought — and sometimes died — to make equality possible, and their courage has changed hearts and minds. But we have far more work to do.
Hillary has called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, and she supports efforts underway in the courts and in the federal government to include gender identity and sexual orientation in anti–sex discrimination laws.
And she’ll keep fighting until every American can live life freely, openly, and without fear. We can’t settle for anything less.