Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement Monday commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance while also condemning the violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals, saying that they “should not be subjected to violence or discrimination.”
“Transgender individuals and their advocates, along with lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex persons, are facing increasing physical attacks and arbitrary arrests in many parts of the world,” Tillerson wrote. “Often these attacks are perpetrated by government officials, undermining the rule of law.”
The White House began participating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance in 2012 under former President Barack Obama, according to GLAAD.
“On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons,” Tillerson’s statement read. “These principles are inherent in our own Constitution and drive the diplomacy of the United States.”
However, the Trump administration has been criticized for its cruel treatment of transgender rights.
In July, Trump tweeted that he would ban transgender Americans from serving in the military. He went on to sign a memo in August that prevented transgender individuals from signing up to serve in the armed forces and banned the use of federal funds to pay for gender reassignment surgery for troops.
Trump’s transgender military ban was partially blocked by a federal court in October.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy in October that had protected transgender individuals from discrimination in employment.