This morning, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives announced the formation of a Transgender Equality Task Force. The Task Force is chaired by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), who has a transgender granddaughter. Also on the Task Force is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who has a transgender son.
"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 Rep. Honda. “We work to highlight the issues that transgender individuals face. In this day and age, hatred and prejudice based on one¹s actual or perceived sexuality or gender identity.”
"I'm honored to join the Transgender Equality Task Force in order to help bring awareness to the challenges that transgender individuals face in their day to day lives,” said Rep. Ros-Lehtinen. “My son, Rigo, is an incredible inspiration for so many in both living an authentic life and advocating for a more accepting society. The United States of America was founded on the liberty of each and every individual and its citizens should be able to live that reality. Americans should not be discriminated against or be left alone on their journey to find their true selves."
This afternoon, the Caucus held the first-ever Congressional Forum on violence against the transgender community. HRC president Chad Griffin testified about the need for Congress to act to address the discrimination that transgender people face.
Last week, HRC released a report with the Trans People of Color Coalition on the epidemic of violence that the transgender community faces, especially transgender women of color.
HRC is proud to work closely with the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and all of the members of the Transgender Equality Task Force, including Reps. Honda, Ros-Lehtinen, Mike Quigley (D-IL), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Jackie Speier (D-CA).