Post submitted by Aaron Rodriguez, former Rapid Response Deputy Press Secretary
Today, the Human Rights Campaign responded to a report that Donald Trump “joked” about Mike Pence wanting to hang LGBTQ people.
HRC President Chad Griffin said of the New Yorker anecdote, "It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people. Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American."
The Trump-Pence administration’s hositility towards LGBTQ people does not exist in a vacuum. In January, the HRC Foundation released the results of a groundbreaking post-election survey of more than 50,000 young people ages 13-18 revealing the deeply damaging fallout the November election has had on youth across the United States.
The online survey, believed to be the largest ever of its kind, found that 70 percent of respondents have witnessed bullying, hate messages or harassment since the election, with racial bias the most common motive cited. More than a quarter of LGBTQ youth said they have been personally bullied or harassed since Election Day -- compared to 14 percent of non-LGBTQ youth -- with transgender young people most frequently targeted.
In 2016, advocates tracked at least 23 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness.