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Despite some significant steps forward, transgender people in the United States lack explicit legal protections across the country. Transgender people, specifically transgender women of color, are facing violence at epidemic-level rates, with at least 26 known violent deaths of transgender women in 2019. The Trump-Pence administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students, banned transgender troops from serving openly in the military, repeatedly sought to allow discrimination against transgender people in healthcare, housing, public accommodations and other aspects of life, and refused to advance bipartisan federal civil rights legislation -- the Equality Act -- which overwhelmingly passed through the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2019. But the fight for equality is far from over and the next President of the United States, as well as the pro-equality balance of the U.S. Congress, will determine our future.
The 2020 election will be unlike any in modern history -- and the importance and power of the LGBTQ vote, especially the vote of transgender people, cannot be stressed enough. Our community needs a president who knows the realities faced by transgender people in the United States and commits the federal government to identifying resources and solutions to dismantle our barriers. We must also elect a president who understands that actions matter but so do words -- and fueling hateful rhetoric creates a dangerous environment putting real people at real risk.
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