Warren vows to read names of transgender victims every year in Rose Garden

Warren vows to read names of transgender victims every year in Rose Garden

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel Biden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona MORE (D-Mass.) vowed Thursday that as president she would read the names of transgender victims of violence in the White House Rose Garden every year. 

"Here's a promise I made: I will go to the Rose Garden once every year to read the names of transgender women, of people of color, who have been killed in the past year," Warren said during the PBS News Hour/Politico debate in Los Angeles.

"I will make sure that we read their names so that as a nation we are forced to address the particular vulnerability on homelessness," she continued. "I would change the rules now that put people in prison based on their birth sex identification rather than their current identification.

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"I will do everything I can to make sure that we are an America that leaves no one behind," she added.

Warren has highlighted increased violence against transgender individuals on the campaign trail, notably in September at an LGBTQ rights forum when she read the names of transgender women of color who have been killed in 2019. 

Twenty-four known transgender individuals have been killed in the U.S. in 2019 alone. The Human Rights Campaign has called the wave of violence an epidemic.

Authorities in Washington State announced this week that transgender teenager Nikki Kuhnhausen was killed earlier this year by a man after he learned she was transgender. 

The Human Rights Campaign praised the discussion on violence against transgender individuals at the debate on Thursday. 

"Tonight, the epidemic of violence against transgender people — especially trans women of color — was for the first time meaningfully discussed on the main stage of the Democratic presidential debate," the group's president Alphonso David said in a statement. "Now, more than ever, it is vital that our voices are heard and that the candidates are able to address our community directly. Thank you to Politico, PBS and the Democratic National Committee for creating space for this crucial conversation."