Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory of the innocent souls who died because of who they are and who they love.

"Today and every day, the United States stands with the LGBTI community and its allies to stop all acts of hate and violence against gender non-conforming people.

"I will never forget standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1998 to honor Matthew Shepard, a young man killed just because he was gay. His mother, Judy, had a profound lesson for all of us: Loving one another doesn’t require us to compromise our beliefs. Love only demands that we choose compassion over intolerance.

"We have made considerable progress since Matthew Shepard’s murder, but we have a long road still to travel across the globe.

"Today, transgender people are still targeted for violence and harassment at an alarming rate. That’s why standing with the transgender community is the first step in ensuring they enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else.

"In July, President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against transgender employees in the federal workplace. And in March, the Department of Justice launched a program to train law enforcement to expand their outreach to the transgender community.

"At the State Department, we support all efforts to combat discrimination against transgender persons. Last week, we brought together courageous activists from around the world at the Conference to Advance the Human Rights of and Promote Inclusive Development for LGBTI Persons. We focused on how to stop violence, harassment, and prejudice here in the United States and around the globe.

"To the transgender community, I want all of you to know that the United States stands with you. We embrace diversity and we fight evil, and we work towards a day when no mother anywhere fears the pain of having to mourn a child lost to bigotry and hatred." ~ John Kerry