In The Know

Biden calls legislation targeting transgender people in Florida ‘close to sinful’

President Biden
Greg Nash
President Biden returns to the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 9, 2023. Biden held an event in Philadelphia, Pa., to discuss his newly released FY 2024 budget.

President Biden is calling legislation targeting transgender people in Florida “close to sinful.”

“It’s just terrible what they’re doing,” in the Sunshine State, Biden said on Monday in a preview clip from “The Daily Show.” Biden sat down for an “in-depth” interview at the White House with guest host Kal Penn, the Comedy Central show announced.

The “Harold & Kumar go to White Castle” actor — who made the jump from Hollywood to politics as the White House’s associate director of public engagement under former President Obama — asked Biden about his “evolution” on marriage equality and what the federal government can do “to protect LGBTQ Americans, especially trans kids who are dealing with all these regressive state laws right now.”

“I can remember exactly when my epiphany was,” the president replied.

Biden, 80, recalled being a senior in high school being dropped off by his father and witnessing “two well-dressed men in suits” kissing one another.

“I’ll never forget, I turn and looked at my dad. He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.’ ”

“It’s just that simple. It doesn’t matter whether it’s same-sex or a heterosexual couple, you should be able to be married. What is the problem?” Biden said.

“Transgender kids is a really harder thing,” Biden told Penn. “What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful.”

GOP lawmakers in Florida have introduced a slew of bills to roll back the rights of LGBTQ communities. The newly proposed House Bill 1421 in the state would outlaw gender-affirming health care for transgender minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgeries.

In his sit-down with Penn, Biden said, “It’s not like, you know, a kid wakes up one morning and says, ‘You know, I decided I want to become a man, or I want to become a woman, or I want to change.’ I mean, what are they thinking about? They’re human beings. They love. They have feelings.”

“It’s cruel,” Biden said.

“And the way we do it is we make sure we pass legislation like we passed on same-sex marriage — you mess with that, you’re breaking the law, and you’re going to be held accountable,” Biden said.

In addition to the interview with Biden — his first with “The Daily Show” as president — Penn will take viewers on a “special tour of the Oval Office” on Monday’s show, Comedy Central said.

Tags Daily Show Florida Joe Biden Joe Biden Kal Penn LGBTQ rights Obama

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