By John Kerry
US Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The State Department joins people around the world in marking Transgender Day of Remembrance, honoring the memory of lives lost to violence provoked by fear and hatred of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
We have made tremendous progress in advancing the rights of LGBT persons. But when people continue to be harassed, arrested and even killed simply because of who they are and who they love, we know that we still have hard work before us.
The sad truth is that in too many places, including the United States, transgender persons continue to face violence and discrimination on a daily basis.
In too many cases, crimes against LGBT persons, including murder, are not thoroughly investigated or prosecuted. Transgender persons are frequently denied medical care and public services. They still suffer discrimination in employment, education, and housing.
Each of these episodes threatens our common humanity. Together, we pay a price when rights are trampled. And, together, we win when rights are protected.
That is why we are engaging diplomatically to address the specific challenges faced by transgender persons. And thatís why we will continue to urge other governments to protect all of their citizens regardless of their gender identity. Through the Global Equality Fund, we are increasing support to civil society organizations to combat bias-motivated violence targeting transgender persons.
The rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons are not special or separate or different. They are basic human rights. And human rights are universal, not negotiable.
On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we renew our commitment to ensuring that all persons are able to live safely, freely and with dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.