In a statement released Saturday, President Joe Biden recognized the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which memorializes the victims of transphobic attacks.

Biden mourned “those we lost in the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans,” referring to the more than 40 transgender Americans who died by violence in 2021.

(Related: 2021 sets record for deadliest year for transgender, non-binary people.)

“This year, at least 46 transgender individuals in this country – and hundreds more around the world – were killed in horrifying acts of violence,” Biden said. “Each of these lives was precious. Each of them deserved freedom, justice, and joy.”

“Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn those we lost in the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans, as well as the countless other transgender people – disproportionately Black and brown transgender women and girls – who face brutal violence, discrimination, and harassment.”

Biden also criticized GOP efforts to approve state laws that target the transgender community and called on the U.S. Senate to approve the Equality Act, an LGBT protections bill that has cleared the House.

“I continue to call on state leaders and lawmakers to combat the disturbing proliferation of discriminatory state legislation targeting transgender people, especially transgender children,” Biden said.

“As I have said before, these bills are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation, they are un-American, and they endanger the safety and well-being of our children.”

“I also continue to urge the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act so that all people are able to live free from fear and discrimination.”

“Transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But no person should have to be brave just to live in safety and dignity. Today, we remember. Tomorrow – and every day – we must continue to act,” he concluded.