Civil Rights Division Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 19, 2022

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory and the lives of victims of anti-transgender discrimination and violence.

We stand in solidarity with transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people throughout the United States—our co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members. Members of the transgender community work hard every day to ensure that they and their loved ones are safe, have shelter, have food on their tables, and have access to healthcare—all while facing discrimination, harassment, violence, and systemic barriers to vital services just because of who they are. We acknowledge the work that must be continued to fully address the pervasive discrimination that transgender people experience in health care, employment, housing, and other critical areas of life, including discrimination that is being enshrined in law and policy. These barriers deny transgender people the equal opportunity to fully participate in society and achieve the freedom and equality that is promised to all Americans.

As Attorney General Merrick Garland has said, “transgender individuals deserve to be able to live free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and threats of violence.”  The Department of Justice is committed to using every tool at our disposal to challenge unlawful acts of hate, discrimination, and violence against transgender people. In the last year, the Department has taken meaningful action to expand federal resources and enforce laws that guarantee the right of transgender people to live in our communities free from discrimination, hate, and violence.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division issued a letter to all state attorneys general reminding them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination, including when those youth seek gender-affirming care. The Division has also filed statements of interest and amicus briefs in several cases involving the civil and constitutional rights of transgender people, including in Kluge v. Brownsburg Community School Corp.  (7th Cir.), Brandt v. Rutledge (8th Cir.), and Adams v. School Bd. of St. John’s County (11th Cir.). On the enforcement front, the Civil Rights Division is also challenging statutes, policies, and practices that impair the rights of transgender people. This includes the Civil Rights Division’s challenge to Alabama’s Senate Bill 184 (2022), a statute which has been preliminary enjoined by a federal district court. Alabama’s law criminalizes certain forms of gender affirming medical care for transgender minors, but allows that same care when cisgender minors seek it. The Civil Rights Division, in coordination with local U.S. Attorney’s Offices, continues to use laws such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to secure indictments and convictions in federal hate crimes cases charging defendants for assaulting transgender victims because of their gender identity.

These are only a few of the many actions this Department has been taking to combat unlawful acts of hate and discrimination targeted at transgender people. As we seize this moment to honor and remember the victims of transgender violence and reflect on the work that remains ahead, we should keep front and center the lived experiences of the full spectrum of transgender people in our country. We support your fight not just for freedom, equality, dignity, and respect, but also to stay safe and alive.

Additional information about the Civil Rights Division’s work to uphold and protect the civil and constitutional rights of LGBTQI+ people is available on its website at https://www.justice.gov/crt/lgbtqi-working-group. Information about the Department’s hate crimes prosecutions and initiatives and resources available to communities working to prevent or respond to bias incidents and hate crimes, including those committed on the basis of LGBTQI+ status, is available at https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes. Complaints about discriminatory practices may be reported to the Civil Rights Division through its internet reporting portal at https://civilrights.justice.gov.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
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Updated November 19, 2022