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.”
So far this year, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures – many of them target transgender children.
Let’s be clear: This is bullying against kids disguised as legislation – and it must stop. Enough is enough.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 25, 2021
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.
“We’ll never fully recover, but we’ll remember.”
Pres. Biden signs National Pulse Memorial bill, “a monument to the loss that occurred there and absolute determination that we’re gonna…make sure that we’re not in a position to see this happen again.” https://t.co/1fI8apsG4W pic.twitter.com/zbbuVZk1kF
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) June 25, 2021