The horrific act of violence and hate that occurred in Las Vegas last week has left many with numerous emotions. The murder of 14 year old Giovanni Melton by his father for being gay is a troubling incident and one that is part of a growing attack on the LGBT community.
Over the last two years, there have been countless murders of members of the LGBT community and very little justice. There has also been a growing number of movements and legislation in state capitals that would rollback or prevent the advancement of civil rights for members of the LGBT community including hate crime legislation, employment discrimination, and healthcare.
There has also been a growing new norm in which elected officials are leading the way for it to be natural to spew hateful messages towards groups of people. In 2017, a representative in Virginia dubbed himself “Virginia’s chief homophobe” and was soundly defeated in his re-election to the state’s first transgendered lawmaker, a day that saw many LGBT elected officials elected for the first time.
Times are changing and our laws need to as well. As in the murder of Giovanni Melton, guns are becoming the choice of those who inflict violence upon the LGBT community. Common sense gun control and universal hate crime legislation is needed in order to help protect the LGBT community from violence. At least, 14 transgender individuals have been shot to death in 2017. On November 20th, many will gather for National Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDOR and remember the countless lives lost over the last year to senseless violence against the community.
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