In a display of support for the LGBTQ+ community, President Joe Biden addressed nearly 1,000 guests at the largest White House Pride event.
Biden Addresses the Pride Crowd
The Pride event, initially scheduled but postponed due to poor air quality caused by Canadian wildfires, was hailed as the largest Pride event ever hosted at the White House.
President Biden’s speech highlighted the challenges faced by queer Americans in the face of rising anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and discriminatory legislation.
The Pride event, organized in collaboration with the Gill Foundation, aimed to celebrate Pride Month and shed light on the ongoing struggles for equality and justice across the United States.
Commendation of Courage
President Biden began his speech by commending the courage of queer Americans who continue to face discrimination and prejudice. He expressed his concern over the numerous bills and laws introduced in various states that target trans children, instill fear in families, and seek to criminalize LGBTQ+ Americans.
The president’s words resonated with the audience, emphasizing the importance of pushing back against these cynical measures that undermine the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.
Vows to Protect and Advance LGBTQ+ Rights
The event at the White House brought together prominent figures from the LGBTQ+ community, including trans members of the administration. Among them was Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Rachel Levine, and Undersecretary of Defense, Shawn Skelly, who stood alongside President Biden during his speech.
President Biden highlighted some of the significant steps his administration has taken to protect and advance LGBTQ+ rights. He acknowledged the bills he had signed into law to cement protections for the community, as well as his administration’s ongoing efforts to combat conversion therapy and HIV.
Much Work to Be Done
However, he stressed that despite these advancements, there is still much work to be done. President Biden said, “But for all the progress we’ve made, we know a real change and real challenges still remain. When a person can be married in the morning and thrown out of a restaurant for being gay in the afternoon, something is still very wrong in America.”
President Biden also used his platform to urge Congress to take action by passing the Equality Act. The legislation, if enacted, would codify protections for the LGBTQ+ community, providing legal safeguards against discrimination.
President Biden went on to demonstrate his commitment to ensuring equal rights and equal treatment for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salma Bashir Motiwala. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.