President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued a proclamation welcoming the arrival of LGBTQ Pride Month and celebrating progress toward equality ― but also acknowledging some negative trends.
“This month, we remind the LGBTQI+ community that they are loved and cherished” and are “deserving of dignity, respect, and support,” Biden said in the proclamation.
While the president applauded victories “in the fight for justice, inclusion, and equality,” including expanded protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, supporting transgender members of the military, and creating more inclusive passports, he also noted the “cruel, persistent efforts to undermine” human rights in many states.
“An onslaught of dangerous anti-LGBTQI+ legislation has been introduced and passed in States across the country, targeting transgender children and their parents and interfering with their access to health care,” Biden said. “These unconscionable attacks have left countless LGBTQI+ families in fear and pain.”
That legislation includes Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed into law; an effort in Texas to regard gender-affirming treatments as child abuse; banning trans kids from receiving medical care in Arkansas; and attacks on trans athletes in numerous state legislatures.
Citing a 2022 report by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, Biden noted that 45% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year — “a devastating reality” deserving of urgent attention, he said.
“This month, we honor the resilience of LGBTQI+ people, who are fighting to live authentically and freely,” Biden said. “We reaffirm our belief that LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. And we recommit to delivering protections, safety, and equality to LGBTQI+ families so that everyone can realize the full promise of America.”
“I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.