Jun 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden hits back at states targeting trans youth in Pride Month proclamation

Joe Biden salutes

President Biden salutes as he boards Air Force One on June 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden recognized June as Pride Month in a proclamation on Tuesday, while pushing for LGBTQ equality and calling out some states for targeting trans youth in "discriminatory bills."

Why it matters: The White House has repeatedly deferred to the Justice Department on whether it will take action against a record number of bills targeting trans youth introduced by Republican lawmakers.

  • Only a handful of the bills — nearly all focused on youth sports — has been enacted into law so far, although LGBTQ advocates, medical experts and pediatricians have raised concerns about a new rash of mental health crises among trans kids in response to the legislation.

What he's saying: "For all of our progress, there are many States in which LGBTQ+ individuals still lack protections for fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations, and other spaces," Biden said in a statement.

  • "Our Nation continues to witness a tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color. LGBTQ+ individuals — especially youth who defy sex or gender norms — face bullying and harassment in educational settings and are at a disproportionate risk of self-harm and death by suicide."
  • "Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all."

The big picture: The Biden administration has pledged to reverse Trump-era policies that restricted LGBTQ access to housing, health care and equal treatment in prisons.

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