President Joe Biden harnessed the power of the White House press podium on Thursday to address – and provide comfort to – the LGBTQ+ community.
“LGBTQ Americans, especially children: You’re loved, you’re heard and this administration has your back, I mean it,” Biden said. “We are not relenting one single second to make sure that they’re protected.”
Biden added, “We have some hysterical and, I would argue prejudiced, people who are engaged in all that you see going on around the country,” Biden said during a White House news conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “It’s an appeal to fear, and it’s an appeal that is totally, thoroughly, unjustified and ugly.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the U.S. since the beginning of the 2023 legislative session.
“LGBTQ Americans are being targeted for who they are, and that, simply put, is discrimination,” said Neera Tanden, the White House domestic policy adviser.
Biden then addressed a series of actions the Administration would take to fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S., including training and a dedicated point of contact at the White House level.
“At a time of unprecedented and sustained attacks on LGBTQ+ communities and people living with HIV, and in particular transgender youth, the Biden-Harris Administration today has reiterated its strong commitment to the mental and physical health and safety of LGBTQ+ people,” said Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings.
“When so many want to deny our existence, the administration instead chooses to celebrate Pride with us and pledges to combat efforts to force us back into the closet,” Jennings continued.
“Congress must pass, must pass the Equality Act and send it to my desk,” Biden said of a legislative measure he had named a top priority during his 2020 campaign.