President Joe Biden announced on Saturday that he would designate Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were shot five years ago, a national memorial, as he again called on Congress to pass gun control law to fire.
In Orlando, Florida, a gunman opened fire, killing 49 and injuring 53 at the LGBTQ nightclub in 2016.
Biden lobbied for the Senate to pass legislation passed by the House to fill gaps in background checks, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, establish “red flag” laws and eliminate immunity liability of arms manufacturers.
He also said the nation must recognize the impact of gun violence on the LGBTQ community.
“We must drive out the hatred and inequalities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color,” the president said.
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Biden also called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Biden said he has kept in touch with families who lost loved ones in the nightclub tragedy. He said they “remind us that we must do more than remember the victims of gun violence and all the survivors, family members and friends left behind; we must act.”
Home Policy Advisor Susan Rice and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond hosted a virtual panel discussion with LGBTQ + leaders, gun violence survivors and gun control advocates on Friday.
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On Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff attended the Capital Pride March.
“We need to make sure our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We still need employment and housing protections,” said Harris. “There is so much more work to be done, and I know we are engaged.”