Joe Biden

ICYMI: President Biden Brings Pride Back to the White House

June 28, 2021

Last week, President Biden delivered a concise, clear, and commanding message: "Pride is back at the White House."

To mark Pride Month and underscore how the Biden Administration has championed LGBTQ+ equality at home and abroad since taking office, President Biden and the First Lady welcomed LGBTQ+ advocates, faith leaders, state and local elected officials, and members of Congress to the East Room – near the first Smithsonian LGBTQ+ exhibit on display at the White House. President Biden outlined the historic steps his Administration has taken to champion full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans, renewed his calls on the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act, and denounced anti-transgender bills as un-American and legislation disguised as bullying. He also commended the LGBTQ+ community for their courage and bravery pushing progress forward and recommitted to the work ahead to confront the hate, discrimination, and violence facing LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender women of color.

Additionally, President Biden signed a law designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub shooting as the "National Pulse Memorial." He also announced the appointment of Jessica Stern as the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the Department of State, a role critical to ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons abroad.

Read key stories below about President Biden's efforts to commemorate Pride Month:

AP: Biden celebrates Pride Month, highlighting LGBTQ rights
[Josh Boak and Darlene Superville, 6/25/21]

Associated Press

"President Joe Biden celebrated Pride Month at the White House on Friday, a reflection of the growing stature of the LGBTQ community at the highest level of government. 'Pride Month represents so much,' Biden said. 'It stands for courage. The courage of all those in previous generations and today who proudly live their truth. Stands for justice. Both the steps we've taken and the steps we need to take. And above all, Pride Month stands for love.'"

WaPo: Biden calls anti-transgender bills among the 'ugliest, most un-American laws'
[Eugene Scott, 6/25/21]

"President Biden spoke out against the increase in anti-transgender bills in state legislatures during the first LGBT Pride Month celebration of his presidency. The president criticized Republicans for attempting to limit the rights of transgender people — especially trans youths. More than 80 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in state legislative sessions this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization. 'These are some of the ugliest, most un-American laws I've seen,' Biden said Friday ... 'Let's be clear,' he added. 'This is nothing but bullying disguised as legislation.'"

USA Today: 'We'll remember': Biden signs law designating Pulse nightclub site a national memorial
[Michael Collins and Jeoy Garrison, 6/25/21]

Associated Press

"A nightclub that was the site of a horrific shooting in Florida became a national memorial Friday. President Joe Biden signed a law designating the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a national memorial at a White House ceremony that included survivors of the 2016 attack. 'A place of acceptance and joy became a place of unspeakable pain and loss. We'll never fully recover, but we'll remember,' Biden said before signing the law designating the memorial. Pulse survivors stood around the president as pictures of the 49 killed displayed on video screens."

CBS: Biden marks Pride Month with speech and names Pulse a national memorial
[Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson, 6/25/21]

"President Joe Biden declared 'pride is back at the White House,' delivering remarks in a day of events intended to mark the contributions of LGBTQ Americans. He spoke after signing H.R. 49, which designates the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting as the 'National Pulse Memorial.' But Mr. Biden recognized that much work remains to be done to give equal rights and protections to LGBTQ Americans. The president invoked Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, and said he was right when he said it "takes no compromise to give people their rights.' He called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ people."

CNN: President Joe Biden to name Jessica Stern special envoy for LGBTQ rights
[Donald Judd and Kate Sullivan, 6/25/21]

"President Joe Biden named Jessica Stern as the US Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons on Friday, reinstating a position that existed under the Obama administration but was not filled by President Donald Trump. Stern currently serves as executive director of OutRight Action International, an organization aimed at ensuring human rights for LGBTQ people both domestically and abroad and joined Biden at the White House Friday for remarks commemorating Pride Month."

PEOPLE: Transgender Teen Introduces Biden to Mark the Return of Pride Commemorations at the White House
[Virginia Chamalee, 6/25/21]

Associated Press

"Sixteen-year-old Ashton Mota introduced President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday as the administration kicked off the return of Pride commemorations. 'My name is Ashton Mota, I use he/him pronouns, and I'm honored to be here with you all today,' Mota said. 'I am a 16-year-old Black, Afro-Latino high school student from Lowell, Massachusetts. I also happen to be transgender.' ... Mota went on to describe how the trans community continues to face discrimination and wakes up to 'headline after headline about bill after bill that prevent us from joining a sports team, receiving healthcare, or even just using the bathroom. This is why passing the Equality Act is so important,' he said."

LGBTQ Nation: Biden declares "Pride is back at the White House" after designating Pulse a national monument

President Joe Biden (D) has signed H.R. 49, the bill designating the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida as a national monument, into law. Afterward, Biden commemorated Pride Month with remarks made alongside Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the first publicly out person confirmed to a Cabinet position ... He then highlighted his administration's efforts to expand civil rights for LGBTQ Americans, particularly by ensuring that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under existing anti-discrimination law. Nevertheless, Biden mentioned the fact that over half of states here still lack explicit LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections. He called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, saying that it will also strengthen pre-existing civil rights protections for people of faith, people of color and people with disabilities."

The Advocate: An Emotional Biden Designates Pulse Nightclub a National Memorial
[Neal Broverman, 6/25/21]

"Flanked by LGBTQ+ politicians, activists, and the first lady, President Joe Biden signed legislation today designating Orlando's Pulse nightclub — the site of a 2016 mass shooting where the majority of victims were young, queer, and Latinx — as a National Memorial. 'A place of acceptance and joy became a place of unspeakable pain and loss,' Biden said, 'We'll never fully recover but we'll remember.' Behind Biden and the attendees were two video screens displaying images of the 49 people murdered at Pulse."

Variety: MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart Has Unique Peek at White House in Pride Special
[Brian Steinberg, 6/25/21]


The most compelling element of Jonathan Capehart's next MSNBC special may not be the host, but rather a video tableau of White House officials who have publicly identified as being LGBTQ. 'You really see all of these people and just think about how far the community has come, and how far the nation has come,' says the host of MSNBC's 'Sunday Show,' in an interview. 'I had to take a step back and realize that this is not usual.' Capehart typically holds forth on Sunday mornings for the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet, but he will appear on its screen this Sunday evening at 10 p.m. in 'Pride of the White House,' his second special at the network. The program takes an hour-long look at what the Biden Administration is doing to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community and features taped interviews with some of its top LGBTQ officials."

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: President Biden Brings Pride Back to the White House Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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