Rex Tillerson, Credit: Arctic Council Secretariat / Linnea Nordström
“Transgender persons should not be subjected to violence or discrimination and the human rights they share with all persons should be respected.”
–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a statement commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event observed on November 20 that honors those killed by anti-transgender violence.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States honors the memory of the many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence,” Tillerson said. “Transgender individuals and their advocates, along with lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex persons, are facing increased physical attacks and arbitrary arrests in many parts of the world.
“Often these attacks are perpetrated by government officials, undermining the rule of law. Transgender persons should not be subjected to violence or discrimination, and the human rights they share with all persons should be respected.
“On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons,” he concluded. “These principles are inherent in our own Constitution and drive the diplomacy of the United States.”
Tillerson’s words, issued by the State Department, stand in stark contrast to the policies of his boss, President Donald Trump, and the actions of the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
It’s just four months since Trump announced his intention to ban transgender people from serving in the military, which is but one of several policy moves by the Trump administration to restrict or deny LGBTQ rights.