Story at a glance
- President Biden on Tuesday officially declared June to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month and condemned recent state legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans in a presidential proclamation.
- Biden again told transgender youth that he “will always have your back,” a promise transgender advocates have said is doing the “bare minimum” to fulfill.
- But the Biden administration has taken steps to advance LGBTQ+ equality in the U.S., including by issuing gender-neutral passports and calling on the government to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
President Biden has declared June to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month, calling on the American people to “recognize the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”
In a presidential proclamation issued Tuesday on the eve of Pride Month, Biden honored the resilience of LGBTQ+ people across the nation, whose rights, he said, have been under relentless attack.
“Members of the LGBTQI+ community — especially people of color and trans people — continue to face discrimination and cruel, persistent efforts to undermine their human rights,” the president said, referring to the onslaught of legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people in state legislatures across the country.
Some of those measures, like what has become known as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Alabama’s felony ban on gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary minors, have already been signed into law. Nine states this year have passed laws to prevent transgender athletes from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, and more are looking to follow.
State-led efforts to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people have “left countless LGBTQI+ families in fear and pain,” Biden said Tuesday.
“All of this compounded has been especially difficult on LGBTQI+ youth, 45 percent of whom seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year — a devastating reality that our Nation must work urgently to address,” he added, referring to recent research from the LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention group The Trevor Project.
Biden said his administration condemns proposed legislation with the potential to harm LGBTQ+ youth and noted that his office has taken “historic action” to advance LGBTQ+ equality in the U.S., including by offering a gender-neutral “X” gender designation on passports for nonbinary Americans and establishing the first White House Gender Policy Council.
Last year, Biden also signed an executive order charging the federal government with preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Biden on Tuesday directed part of his message toward transgender youth, telling them, “I will always have your back as your President.”
Biden used the same language in his last two State of the Union addresses and in a tweet denouncing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Florida.
Ahead of Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address in March, “Pose” actress Angelica Ross delivered the LGBTQ State of the Union, where she accused the president and his administration of doing the “bare minimum” for LGBTQ+ youth.
“You say trans youth are brave and claimed to have their backs, and your administration has not done enough to sufficiently protect them. Talk is cheap. We need you to act,” the actress, who is transgender, said.
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