Biden highlights anti-LGBT bills, Equality Act on Coming Out Day
President Biden on Monday called for the defeat of anti-LGBT bills in state legislatures and for Senate passage of the Equality Act to mark National Coming Out Day.
“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done,” the president said in a statement on Monday. “Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character.”
He called state legislation targeting the LGBT community “discriminatory.” Several bills have passed in states that are widely considered anti-LGBT, and states such as Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee have taken up measures that would place restrictions on transgender people.
The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The House passed the measure largely along party lines earlier this year, and the Senate has yet to take up the bill.
“To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you,” he said.
Biden said on Monday he wants the LGBT community to know that they are loved and accepted, “regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.”
“My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation,” he said.
He noted that LGBT officials are serving in the government and that his administration has made progress toward advancing protections and equal opportunities, including protecting transgender Americans’ ability to serve in the military and defending human rights globally.
National Coming Out Day was first celebrated in 1988 in the U.S. to raise awareness for the LGBT community.