President Joe Biden on Thursday called out the nation's "epidemic of violence against transgender women," three days after a woman who identifies as transgender killed six people at a Christian school in Nashville, Tenn.
Biden's proclamation, ahead of Friday's Transgender Day of Visibility, declared that transgender Americans "shape our Nation's soul."
"An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon," Biden said in the Thursday declaration, pointing to the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Club Q in Colorado last year. On Monday, Audrey Hale, a biological woman who went by Aiden, shot and killed three adults and three nine-year-olds at Covenant School before she was killed by police.
Police say the Christian school, which Hale once attended, was targeted and the killer left a manifesto behind.
In his statement, Biden called out the "targeting" of "transgender youth" by state laws, saying they’re "terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone."
"My name is Joe Biden [laughter]. I'm Dr. Jill Biden's husband [laughter]," Biden said. "And I eat Jenny's ice cream, chocolate chip [laughter]. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream [laughter]."