The White House marked the start of Pride Month with a dig at former President Donald Trump, while President Joe Biden took a jab at red states that have passed anti-transgender bills in a proclamation commemorating the monthlong celebration of diversity.
“After four years of relentless attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to accelerate the march toward full LGBTQ+ equality,” the White House said Tuesday in a statement.
“From protecting the civil rights of every LGBTQ+ American, enabling all qualified Americans — including transgender Americans — to serve their country in uniform, ensuring that LGBTQ+ Americans are leaders at every level of the federal government, to protecting and defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons around the world, the Biden-Harris Administration is a consistent and reliable partner in the fight for equality at home and abroad,” the White House added.
In his proclamation, Biden referenced how states have “actively” targeted transgender youth through legislation as lawmakers crack down on athletes not competing in sports as their biological gender. He also touted how almost 14% of his 1,500 federal agency appointees identify as gay.
“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,” he wrote.
Trump named Richard Grenell acting director of national intelligence last year, but Grenell did not require Senate consent to step into that role temporarily.
Biden used his first address to a joint session of Congress in April to push lawmakers to pass the Equality Act. His first-day executive order directing the federal government to counter sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, too, has reversed Trump-era reforms, including the former president’s ban on transgender military personnel openly serving in the armed forces. The White House on Tuesday promoted as well the State Department’s decision permitting pride flags to be flown outside U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.
Gay rights advocates criticized Trump for policies they claimed perpetuated inequality, including his Justice Department’s backing of so-called bathroom bills, his judicial appointments, and his amplification of anti-gay supporters.
Pride Month coincides with the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots in June 1969. Days of unrest were sparked by an anti-gay police raid of the Mafia-owned club in New York City’s Greenwich Village in the early hours of June 28.
Author: Naomi Lim
Source: Washington Examiner: Biden swipes at Trump and red states in Pride Month message