Maloney Introduces LGBT PRIDE Act to Combat Violence, Suicide in LGBTQ Community
Joined by Equality Caucus, HRC, Trevor Project and PFLAG
Washington — One-year after the deadly shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), New York's first openly gay member of Congress, announced the introduction of a bill to improve data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of victims of violent crimes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operates the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), which collects a range of data on victims of violent crime. Rep. Maloney’s LGBT PRIDE (Provide a Requirement to Improve Date Collection Efforts) Act calls on CDC to improve the process, and authorizes $25 million to fund the effort.
Although the overwhelming majority of victims of the Pulse shooting were LGBTQ, the federal government’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) collects only a small amount of information on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means the lives lost in the Orlando attack were not recorded as anti-LGBT murders in any data collection.
“Pulse wasn’t an isolated occurrence – 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,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “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.”
“No American should ever feel like they are treated less than equal. It’s on all of us to continue fighting until we make this a reality. The LGBT PRIDE Act will authorize $25 million to expand data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity through the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System. This data is critical for identifying the causes of violent crime, and developing new, strategic methods to stop it. I’m proud to join Congressman Maloney in introducing this important bill today,” said Rep. David Cicilline, Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
"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 Violence Death Reporting System. We are thankful for Rep. Maloney's leadership in working to improve this essential data collection."
“This legislation will play a critical role helping us to better understand and help end LGBTQ youth suicide,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “Currently no one is able to answer the question of how many LGBTQ individuals die by suicide every year. This is a monumental gap in our knowledge of suicide and keeps us from most effectively targeting prevention and intervention efforts. The saying often goes ‘if you’re not counted then you don’t count’, and it’s time to finally acknowledge the importance of LGBTQ lives and get the data to help save those lives.”
“GLSEN is proud to support the PRIDE Act again this Congress. Data collection is imperative to ensuring that policies are implemented effectively and that programs are funded adequately to have an impact on the communities they are meant to serve; however, too often LGBTQ people are left out of critical data collection measures and subsequently left behind,” said Nathan Smith, Director of Public Policy at GLSEN. “Improving the CDC’s data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, and providing the funds necessary to get that done, is a hugely important step.”
“To not include sexual orientation and gender identity in CDC reporting on violent death victims is to erase the high incidence of fatal violence that LGBTQ people experience,” said Elizabeth Raymond Kohm, Interim Executive Director, PFLAG National. “PFLAG families everywhere thank Congressman Maloney for his leadership in insisting that LGBTQ people be visible and counted in our country.”
The LGBT PRIDE Act would require the CDC to improve its data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity and authorize $25 million to fund the effort. The system currently has the ability to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity, but various barriers exist to comprehensive collection. The NVDRS aggregates data from a variety of local sources including death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, police reports, and crime labs. This data is used to inform policy and regulatory decisions aimed at responding to public health crises such as suicide and homicide at the local, federal, and state level. All data collection is performed on a voluntary basis, and the results are only released in aggregate to protect the privacy of decedents.
The LGBT PRIDE Act has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, the Trevor Project, PFLAG, and the Gay and Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Fellow LGBT Equality Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mark Takano (D-CA), and David Cicilline (D-RI) are original cosponsors. Additional original cosponsors include Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Julia Brownley (D-CA), William Keating (D-MA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Scott Peters (D-CA), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is the first openly gay member of Congress from New York. After 22 years together, he married his husband Randy Florke in June 2014 in Cold Spring, NY where they live with their three children.