New York Representative Sean Maloney introduced a new bill on Tuesday that would count the lives of LGBTQ people lost to violence.
The PRIDE Act (Provide a Requirement to Improve Data Collection Efforts) asks the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to count sexual orientation and gender identity in the National Violent Death Reporting System, which collects data about violent crimes in the U.S.
The announcement came just a day after the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, in which 49 people — most of them queer people of color — were killed.
But while Pulse is a visceral reminder of how hate, bullying, and discrimination can affect the lives of LGBTQ people, it is by far not the only instance of violence against the queer community in the last year.
A new report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that 2016 was the deadliest year on record for LGBTQ people in the U.S. Seventy-seven people were killed, including those who died at Pulse — and many of them were transgender people of color.
And as of now, their deaths haven't been fully counted in the National Violent Death Reporting System. While they may be counted among those who died due to violence, without reporting the cause of that violence — hate and discrimination against queer and transgender people — their deaths cannot contribute to awareness that the LGBTQ community needs greater protections against these crimes.
“Pulse wasn’t an isolated occurrence — anti-LGBTQ violence is way too common — it happens when a trans woman of color is gunned down in the street, it happens when a young gay person is bullied into depression or takes his own life,” Maloney said during the introduction of the bill, according to the HRC.
“We have to get more information on where this violence is happening and we have to be more aggressive about doing something to stop it – and this bill is a necessary first step.”
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