New York (CNN)Laverne Cox is demanding equality for the LGBT community. The "Orange Is the New Black" star spoke to CNN at the season four premiere in NYC Thursday night and choked up while discussing the mass shooting in Orlando last weekend and how legislation like the "bathroom law" in North Carolina are hindering the progress she and her show have made.
Emotional Laverne Cox on Orlando: 'We have to love each other better'
"We have a slew of laws that are trying to criminalize trans folks, particularly HB2 in North Carolina," Cox told CNN, referring to the North Carolina bill that requires trans people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. "What just happened at Pulse night club is an affront to all Americans, particularly the LGBT Americans and Latinos and Latina Americans. We make progress and then there's backlash ... I think it's clear that HB 2 in North Carolina is unconstitutional and these anti-trans bathroom laws are unconstitutional and I look forward to the courts settling this issue on the right side of history."
Cox, who plays Sophia Burset, a transgender inmate on Netflix's OITNB, got emotional while discussing last week's massacre.
Pausing to compose herself, she said, "We have to take care of ourselves and have to love each other better and I hope our elected officials can understand that the gun lobby is not there for us. We should have assault weapons banned in this country ... If our elected officials say they want to protect us, then they need to do something."
Cox's co-star Uzo Aduba echoed her sentiments and said how the 2016 presidential election is more important than ever. "We are living in a crucial time politically, socially, how we view and treat our global family and tribes has never felt more important and more relevant as we saw this past weekend," Aduba, who plays "Crazy Eyes" on the show, told CNN. "I think what we need to remind ourselves is, 'Who are we really as a people?' We keep saying who we are, but can we live up to that moment? I think in November it's important for us to meet the moment and be the people that we say we are ... which is a country that is built on justice and equality for all."