The LGBTQ Equality Caucus of the US Congress released a statement Sunday condemning the “twin epidemics of hate and gun violence” following a deadly shooting at a queer club in Colorado Springs. Around midnight, a shooter entered Club Q, a “safe haven” for LGBTQ residents of Colorado Springs, killed 5 and wounded more than 25 people. The club released a statement describing its devastation at this “hate attack.” The attack occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, marked by LGBTQ Caucus Chai Cicilline in the press release. Transgender Day of Remembrance serves as a day to honor those lost to “anti-transgender bigotry and violence.” The Day was started by Grendolyn Ann Smith in memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman killed in 1998. This past week was Transgender Awareness Week, during which the Human Rights Campaign reported that at least 32 transgender and gender non-conforming people had been killed in the U.S. this year.
The Colorado Springs attack follows a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation and fear-mongering from politicians, including from one of Colorado’s congressmen. Though Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert released a statement condemning the attack, she has previously made statements that feed into anti-trans and anti-gay hate. Boebert had earlier tweeted “take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars.” Club Q was scheduled to have an all-ages Drag Brunch Sunday morning to honor Trans Day of Remembrance.
President Biden released a statement reaffirming his administration’s commitment to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. Biden encouraged Congress to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and the Equality Act to provide long-overdue protections to LGBTQ Americans.