Biden calls critics of transgender operations and care ‘hysterical’ and ‘biased’
President Joe Biden on Thursday reiterated his support for American transgender people and the wider LGBTQ+ community, calling opponents “hysterical” and “biased.”
At his joint press conference alongside British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Biden was asked about Republican moves to limit “rights and medical care” of transgender Americans, as well as the anti-LGBTQ protests that turned violent in California this week.
The questioner, Laura Barrón-López, White House correspondent for PBS Newshour, also told the president that she had interviewed the family of a transgender child in Texas and that the family was considering not only moving out of the red state, but also to leave the US completely.
“First of all, maybe calm down when we’re done with this, can you give me that family’s number and I’ll call them,” Biden replied. “Let them know that the president and this administration are behind them.”
Biden then pointed to his own pro-LGBTQ record of reversing Trump’s ban on transgender troops and signing the Respect for Marriage Act — which codified the Obergefell decision after Judge Clarence Thomas suggested it could be reexamined after the Supreme Court had abolished Roe v. wading.
“It is wrong that someone in the United States can be married in the morning and fired by their employer in the afternoon for being gay,” Biden said. “It is wrong that violence and hate crimes against LGBTQ people are on the rise. It is wrong for extreme officials to push hateful bills, target transgender children, terrify families and criminalize doctors.”
President Joe Biden (right) on Thursday reiterated his support for the transgender and wider LGBTQ community at a press conference alongside British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right)
“There are our children,” the president said. ‘These are our neighbours. It’s cruel and heartless. It matters a lot how we treat everyone in this country.”
‘Us the battle is far from over because we have some hysterical and, I would say, prejudiced people involved in everything you see happening in the country,” the Democrat added.
He said what is happening in some states is an “unwarranted and ugly” call for fear and called on lawmakers to pass legislation, which has stalled in Congress, that would protect the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. would protect. .
“Congress must pass the equality bill and send it to my desk,” Biden said of a legislative measure he had declared a top priority during his 2020 campaign.
The president then spoke directly to LGBTQ+ Americans, especially children. “You are loved, you are heard and this government has your back and I mean it. We don’t give in for a second to make sure they’re protected.”
Biden also described new initiatives the government announced earlier Thursday to protect LGBTQ+ communities from attacks, assist and counter youth in foster care who suffer from mental health issues or experience homelessness. books prohibitedalthough the effects may be limited.
The White House would celebrate Pride month later on Thursday night with a Betty Who concert on the South Lawn.
It was scrapped and rescheduled for Saturday earlier Thursday due to air quality in Washington, D.C., which has been affected by smoke channeled into the region from Canadian wildfires.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer people, marked June’s Pride Month by declaring a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States and the release of a guide to laws that are considered discriminatory in each state.
The campaign said it was acting in response to an “unprecedented and dangerous” spike in discriminatory laws sweeping statehouses this year, with more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed and more than 70 signed so far — more than double the last year’s number.
A participant holds up a trans flag during a New York City Pride march. Thursday night’s Pride event at the White House was canceled due to smoke in Washington, D.C. from Canadian wildfires
Kelley Robinson, the president of the campaign, called for a “quick and strong” response from those in power, including government, business and education.
“This is an outright crisis for our communities that requires a coordinated response,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think this is kind of a national call to action and a call to arms to stand up and fight back.”
Biden announced that the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, will work with LGBTQ+ community organizations to provide safety resources and training to help prevent violent attacks.
Separately, HHS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide resources to help LGBTQ+ youth with mental health needs, foster care support, and homelessness.
To deal with a spike in book bans, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office will appoint a new coordinator to work with schools to address that threat.
The White House said banning books undermines democracy, deprives students of learning materials and could contribute to the stigma and isolation LGBTQ+ youth feel because books about them are often banned.
Biden has many LGBTQ+ people in prominent positions in the administration, such as Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay White House press secretary.
Polls show that public support for the rights of people who are gay and lesbian has surged over the past two decades, with about 7 in 10 American adults in Gallup polls saying that same-sex marriages should be legal and that relationships between gays and lesbians are morally acceptable.
But attitudes toward trans people are complex: In 2022 polls conducted by KFF and the Washington Post and by the Pew Research Center, majorities said they support laws banning discrimination against trans people in areas such as housing, jobs and schools.
At the same time, both polls showed that a majority of Americans believe that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex assigned at birth.
Many also support restrictive policies targeting people who are transgender, such as preventing transgender women and girls from participating in sports teams that match their gender identity, along with restrictions on access to certain medical treatments.