The mother of a teenager who was shot dead last year has urged Donald Trump to defend all LGBT people in a moving interview.
Katrina Johnson, whose son’s death is now being investigated by the Amercian Government, said while she “loved” that they had intervened, “it shouldn’t have taken for a child to lose his life, and for everybody to think it was a hate crime, for them to step up and do something”.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, she added that the former businessman should be pushing for more rights for LGBT people, not rolling them back.
“Not just because it’s my son,” she continued. “But they need to do it for all.”
16-year-old Kedarie Johnson was shot to death last year in Iowa, and now Jorge “Lumni” Sanders-Galvez is charged with first-degree murder.
However, the Trump administration is now also investigating the possibility the shooting was a hate crime.
If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.
In an unusual move, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent prominent civil rights attorney Christopher J. Perras to help with the case.
It comes just a week after the discovery the Attorney General has been working with an anti-LGBT hate group, as well as a series of decisions reversing protections put in place by Obama.
He issued a directive last week protecting “the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs”, granting an unlimited license to discriminate against LGBT people based on religion.
Under his leadership, the Justice Department has rolled back civil rights protections for transgender people, and has also made an uninvited intervention into a discrimination case this year to argue against discrimination protections for gay employees.
And it emerged that his actions were taken after extensive consultation with Alliance Defending Freedom, a group which has consistently lobbied to weaken LGBT rights in the US.
While Katrina said her son was not transgender, he did enjoy dressing in women’s clothes and sometimes went by the name Kandicee.
He had girlfriends, but “preferred boys,” she added.
But Sessions has consistently cracked down on hatred against the LGBT community – as long as it’s in the form of crime.
In a speech at June’s 2017 Hate Crime summit, Sessions said he would “continue to enforce hate crime laws aggressively and appropriately where (transgender) individuals are victims.”