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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 16, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 24
Gay congressman introduces LGBT PRIDE Act

Measure would improve data collection on violent crimes, suicides
Section One
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Gay congressman introduces LGBT PRIDE Act

Measure would improve data collection on violent crimes, suicides

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York introduced the LGBT PRIDE Act on June 13, one year and one day after the massacre at Orlando's Pulse nightclub.

The bill is seeks to improve data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of victims of violent crimes and suicides.

'Pulse wasn't an isolated occurrence,' Maloney observed.

'Anti-LGBTQ violence is way too common - it happens when a transwoman of color is gunned down in the street, it happens when a young gay person is bullied into depression or takes his own life.

'We have to get more information on where this violence is happening and we have to be more aggressive about doing something to stop it - and this bill is a necessary first step.'

Maloney is New York's first out Gay member of Congress and is co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. His district includes the northern suburbs of New York City, as well as Newburgh, Beacon, and Poughkeepsie.

PRIDE in the title of the bill stands for Provide a Requirement to Improve Data Collection Efforts. The legislation would provide $25 million to improve the National Violent Death Reporting System currently operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC's system did not record any of the 49 Pulse killings as anti-LGBT murders, even though the shooting took place at an LGBT nightclub and most of the victims were LGBT.

In a June 13 statement, HRC said it supported the bill.

'The LGBTQ community, particularly transgender women of color, continue to face an epidemic of violence,' said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy.

'In order to help understand the full scope of this violence, it is critically important we ensure victims' sexual orientation and gender identity are included as part of the information gathered in the National Violent Death Reporting System.'

The Trevor Project also supports the measure, saying it would play a 'critical role' in understanding and preventing youth suicide.

'Currently no one is able to answer the question of how many LGBTQ individuals die by suicide every year,' said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project.

'This is a monumental gap in our knowledge of suicide and keeps us from most effectively targeting prevention and intervention efforts. It's time to finally acknowledge the importance of LGBTQ lives and get the data to help save those lives.'

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