WASHINGTON (SBG) – This past week, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. This proclamation vows to fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community and that it is ordered into law.
Biden said that he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”
The proclamation stated:
“During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.”
As Biden acknowledged the beginning of Pride on Tuesday, the White House announced: “After four years of relentless attacks on L.G.B.T.Q.+ rights, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to accelerate the march toward full L.G.B.T.Q.+ equality.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki hasn’t confirmed whether the White House will be lit up with rainbow colors, yet, as it was when President Barack Obama was President.
How Does Biden’s Approach to Pride and the LGBTQ+ Community Differ From Trump’s?
By acknowledging Pride month, Biden shows his priorities and values in opposition to his predecessor, Donald J. Trump.
Last year, Trump ignored Pride month and didn’t acknowledge any of the celebrations or events for the LGBTQ+ community. He didn’t even make a presidential tweet, despite his aides suggesting that he writes one.
Trump only ever acknowledged LGBTQ+ Pride in one tweet during June 2019. He also took away the LGBTQ+ rights page from the White House’s website. Also, he rejected requests from US embassies to fly the Pride flag. Biden’s administration reversed this decision in April.
Trump’s silence occurred when his administration back a 2016 regulation that erased transgender civil rights protections for health care under the Affordable Care Act.
What Has Joe Biden Done for the LGBTQ+ Community Since Taking Office?
So far during his presidency, Biden has signed an executive order that fights against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
His administration has reversed a ban imposed during the Trump era that prohibits transgender people from serving in the military.
Also, he has issued an executive order that expands Title IX to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination, especially transgender students.
In addition, he has reinstated protections for transgender people who require emergency shelter and homeless services. When Trump was in office, he denied homeless people access to single-sex shelters that correspond to their gender identity.
Biden has called on Congress to pass the Equality Act. This bill protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in housing, health care, education, public accommodations, and other areas. The bill had a hearing in March but is currently stalled in the Senate.
In a statement, Biden also mentioned the following about state bills that seek to ban trans-student-athletes from participating on sports teams in alignment with their gender:
“Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.”
What Has Biden’s Administration Been Like for the LGBTQ+ Community?
Advocates have been describing Biden’s administration as the most pro-LGBTQ+ administration to date. His presidency and administration have achieved many LGBTQ+ firsts.
First, approximately 14 percent of his 1,500 agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is the first openly LGBTQ+ person serving in the Cabinet, and Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine is the first openly transgender person that the Senate has confirmed.
What Improvements Can Be Made for LGBTQ+ People in the United States?
Even with all the progress for LGBTQ+ rights in the US, many States are still lacking in fundamental rights and protections for LGBTQ+ folks. For instance, in school hospitals, public accommodations, and other spaces.
Biden added in his proclamation that there are “tragic levels of violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 27 transgender people have been killed in 2021. At this point last year, there were 13 trans individuals murdered. Although, these numbers are likely higher since police commonly dead name trans people in police reports.
Biden’s Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021
To read Biden’s full proclamation about Pride Month, you can find it on the White House’s website.