Biden Hosts LGBTQ Leaders: ‘Pride Is Back At The White House’

President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Biden hosted leaders from the LGBTQ community at the White House in honor of Pride Month
President Joe Biden (screen capture)

It was an LGBTQ kind of day at the White House today as President Biden hosted a reception for LGBTQ leaders in honor of Pride Month.

From the Washington Blade:

President Biden commemorated Pride Month for first his year in office on Friday with a reception at the White House, detailing the initiatives his administration has made on behalf of the LGBTQ community and declaring “Pride is Back at the White House.”

“We’re also making progress, but I know we still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do,” Biden said. “We must protect the gains we’ve made and fend off the cruel and unconscionable attacks that we’re seeing now to ensure the full promise of dignity and equal protection.”

Joining Biden on stage for the reception in the East Room was first lady Jill Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who could claim historic status of participating in the event as the first openly gay official to obtain Senate confirmation for a Cabinet-level role.

Biden was introduced by Ashton Mota, a 16-year-old transgender advocate from Lowell, Mass., and a leader with the GenderCool Project.

During his remarks, Biden’s made note of the recent spate of state laws targeting transgender youth, including restricting their access to transition-related health care and schools sports. Biden called the bills “nothing but bullying disguised as legislation.”

Biden also named Jessica Stern, currently executive director of OutRight Action International, as a special diplomatic envoy at the State Department for LGBTQ rights. Her responsibilities will include ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect LGBTQ rights around the world.

Additionally, Biden signed into law a congressional resolution designating the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial. On June 12, 2016, the club was the site of the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history when Omar Mateen opened fire on club goers killing 49 people and wounding 53 more.

Biden & Emhoff Make Appearances During ‘It Gets Better’ Digital Pride

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden makes appearance during It Gets Better Pride event

President Joe Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff each shared special messages for LGBTQ+ youth to remind them that they are not alone during today’s ‘It Gets Better: A Digital Pride Experience.’

“My administration, the Biden administration, will always stick up for you,” Biden told viewers. “We are committed to advancing equality. In the classroom, on the sports fields, at work, in our military, in our housing, in our healthcare system — everywhere — equity.”

The president also noted LGBTQ Americans he’s appointed to high level leadership roles including the first openly gay Cabinet Secretary, Pete Buttigieg and the first transgender person confirmed by the United States Senate, Dr. Rachel Levine.

This is not President Biden’s first video for the It Gets Better Project. In 2010, when the It Gets Better campaign was just getting its start in response to a string of suicides from LGBTQ+ youth, the then Vice President shared inspirational words and a message of support for the LGBTQ+ community — see his original video here.

Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff told viewers: “When times are tough and the whole world feels like it’s closing in, the best thing you can do for yourself is just reach out to someone. Being strong, being brave, is to know when to ask for support.”

Emhoff added: “I promise you, there are people out there who love you just as you are — people who recognize that the qualities that make you unique and special are the characteristics that make our whole society beautiful and diverse… don’t ever feel like you’re in this by yourself because you’re not. Remember: it will get better.”

For the last decade, the It Gets Better Project has upheld a mission to empower, uplight and inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the organization celebrated Pride by hosting their first digital Pride event which garnered over 1.3M impressions. This year, they aim to reach even more LGBTQ+ youth around the globe while promoting and securing funds to sustain the life-affirming services the organization provides.

The 2021 talent line up features appearances by Kalen Allen, Mj Rodriguez, Laverne Cox, Aly & AJ, Zachary Quinto, Vincint, and Pabllo Vittar among others. Day One streamed live from the organization’s YouTube channel today, Wednesday, June 23rd and Day Two will air tomorrow, Thursday, June 24th from 11:00 AM PT – 3:00 PM PT.

 

First Dog Champ Biden Passes Away At 13

The Biden's 13-year-old German Shepard passed away today.

Champ, the Biden’s 13-year-old German Shepard who brought dog-hood back to the White House, died today.

According to President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Champ “died peacefully at home.”

“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family. Even as Champ’s strength waned in his last days, when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tail always wagging, and nuzzles us for an ear scratch or belly rub.”

“Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us. He loved nothing more than curling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us as a comforting presence in meetings, or sunning himself in the White House garden.

“In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware.”

“In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”

Champ is survived by the Biden’s younger German Shepard, Major, who was rescued from a shelter in 2018.

Podcast: Pride Month 2021, Bakery Hit By Homophobia, The Latest From Eli Lieb

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s headlines:

• For the first time in five years, the LGBTQ community not only received full-throated support from the man in the Oval Office, but President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris all issued video greetings to LGBTQ Americans for Pride Month

• Congress votes to make Pulse Nightclub a national memorial

• Gay men in the UK will have an easier time donating blood

• A bakery in Texas experienced hideous homophobia for saying ‘Happy Pride’ and then the internet stepped in

• Eli Lieb drops the perfect anthem for Pride Month ‘Boys Who Like Boys’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

The Bidens Uplifting Message To LGBTQ Community For Pride Month

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden send a message to the LGBTQ community for Pride Month
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden send a message to the LGBTQ community for Pride Month
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden

In a special Pride Month message, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden wish all of us a bright and happy Pride.

The Bidens note that Pride represents many things: defiance in the face of injustice, courage to live our truth, and justice as in the Supreme Court ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land.

But above all else – Pride stands for love.

At the beginning of the month, the president issued the first proclamation acknowledging Pride Month in five years.

President’s Statement On 5th Anniversary Of Pulse Nightclub Shooting

President Joe Biden issued a statement today marking the 5th anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, that left 49 dead.
President Joe Biden (screen capture)

President Joe Biden issued a statement today marking the 5th anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, that left 49 dead.

He included a call to action asking Congress to pass commonsense gun regulations like universal background checks. A recent Morning Consult poll showed 84% of Americans, including 77% of Republicans, support requiring all gun purchasers to go through a background check.

Here is the full statement via WhiteHouse.gov:

“Five years ago today in Orlando in the middle of Pride Month, our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQ+ community in American history, and at the time, the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman.

“Within minutes, the Pulse nightclub that had long been a place of acceptance and joy turned into a place of unspeakable pain and loss. Forty-nine people were there celebrating Latin night were murdered, even more injured, and countless others scarred forever – the victims were family members, partners and friends, veterans and students, young, Black, Asian and Latino – our fellow Americans.

“A few days later, I traveled with President Obama to pay respects to them and their families, to thank the brave first responders and the community who found strength and compassion in each other, and to pledge that what happened would not be forgotten.

“Over the years, I have stayed in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who have turned their pain into purpose, and who remind us that we must do more than remember victims of gun violence and all of the survivors, family members, and friends left behind; we must act.

“In the coming days, I will sign a bill designating Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial, enshrining in law what has been true since that terrible day five years ago: Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground.

“But there is more we must do to address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms – mass shootings and daily acts of gun violence that don’t make national headlines.

“It is long past time we close the loopholes that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks in this country, and the Senate should start by passing the three House-passed bills which would do exactly that. It is long past time we ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, establish extreme risk protection orders, also known as “red flag” laws, and eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.

“We must also acknowledge gun violence’s particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation. We must drive out hate and inequities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color. We must create a world in which our LGBTQ+ young people are loved, accepted, and feel safe in living their truth. And the Senate must swiftly pass the Equality Act, legislation that will ensure LGBTQ+ Americans finally have equal protection under law.

“In the memory of all of those lost at the Pulse nightclub five years ago, let us continue the work to be a nation at our best – one that recognizes and protects the dignity and safety of every American.”

Poll: Trust In U.S. President Soars Under Biden In Global Survey

L-R Donald Trump, President Joe Biden

As Joe Biden takes his first trip abroad as president, he has told the world “America is back.” And according to a new global survey by Pew Research Center, the world agrees.

From the Washington Post:

Trust in the U.S. president fell to historic lows in most countries surveyed during Donald Trump’s presidency, according to Pew.

Under Biden, it has soared. In the 12 countries surveyed both this year and last, a median of 75 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Biden to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” Pew found, compared with 17 percent for Trump last year. Sixty-two percent of respondents now have a favorable view of the United States vs. 34 percent at the end of Trump’s presidency.

“The election of Joe Biden as president has led to a dramatic shift in America’s international image,” the Pew report reads.

Additionally, the survey shows the favorability rating for the U.S. grew 23 percentage points from last year in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

President Biden Issues Proclamation Recognizing Pride Month

President Joe Biden (image – public domain)

President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation today recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

From WhiteHouse.gov:

The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all. Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality.

Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity. This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

The LGBTQ+ community in America has achieved remarkable progress since Stonewall. Historic Supreme Court rulings in recent years have struck down regressive laws, affirmed the right to marriage equality, and secured workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in every State and Territory.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act broadened the definition of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. Members of the LGBTQ+ community now serve in nearly every level of public office — in city halls and State capitals, Governors’ mansions and the halls of the Congress, and throughout my Administration.

Nearly 14 percent of my 1,500 agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+, and I am particularly honored by the service of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Cabinet, and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.

Biden goes on to note the many policies from the Trump administration he’s reversed since taking office in January. Among those are charging Federal agencies to fully enforce all Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and ending Trump’s transgender military ban.

The president also urges Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would extend existing federal civil rights laws to LGBTQ people.

And he calls on everyone in the country to “recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”

Read the full presidential proclamation here.

You’ll recall Trump never issued a proclamation for Pride Month during his time in the White House.

AP Poll: Biden’s Overall Approval Rating At 63%

First Lady Jill Biden watches as President Joe Biden signs legislation into law
First Lady Jill Biden watches as President Joe Biden signs legislation into law
(photo: public domain/White House)

A new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey shows President Joe Biden with garnering strong support.

From AP News:

In the fourth month of his presidency, Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 63%.

When it comes to the new Democratic president’s handling of the pandemic, 71% of Americans approve, including 47% of Republicans.

Additionally, 54% say the country is on the right track, more than any AP/NORC polls since 2017.

Forty-four percent say the country is on the wrong track.

Broken down along party lines, Democratic voters approve of Biden by 96%, while his approval rating is 63% among independents. Not surprising in this deepening partisan divide, just 23% of GOP voters approve of Biden’s job performance.

It goes without saying that the ‘former guy’ never got close to numbers like these.

Biden To Trans Americans: ‘Your President Has Your Back’

President Joe Biden calls for Congress to pass the Equality Act

President Joe Biden calls for Congress to pass the Equality Act
In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden spoke to several issues as well as his proposed American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.

Along the way, the president took time to call for the passage of the Equality Act: “I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans.”

He added a special message to transgender folks: “To all the transgender Americans watching at home — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know that your president has your back.”


The Equality Act would add legal protections for LGBTQ Americans to existing federal civil rights laws. The legislation has already passed in the House, but faces a steep climb in the Senate where Democrats will need 10 Republicans to join them in passing the bill.

A CBS News poll following Biden’s address showed 85% of Americans who watched approved of his speech, 15% disapproved. And 78% say the speech made them feel “optimistic” about America.

As an example of how partisan politics have become, of those who watched Biden’s address, 54% identified as Democrats, 18% as Republican and 25% as independent, according to CBS News. So, basically, Republicans didn’t tune in to watch.

By comparison, 76% of the audience (that leaned Republican) approved of Trump’s speech in 2017.