Jun 2, 2019

Biden calls Trump admin "immoral" as he vows to protect LGBTQ rights

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden vowed at the Human Rights Campaign’s gala Saturday his legislative priority was preserving Equality Act protections for LGBTQ people, as he accused the Trump administration of committing "immoral" acts against the community.

“You can get married because the Supreme Court now says that, but you can walk into your place of employment in so many states and be fired ... It’s got to change, because of the values we have to demonstrate to the rest of the world. It’s got to change because it’s just morally wrong."

Why it matters: The Equality Act passed in the Democratic-controlled House last month, but it's expected to be blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. Some conservatives argue the bill — which would amend a 1964 law permitting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — violates religious freedom and nullifies women's rights.

The big picture: Biden opted to address the HRC dinner in Columbus, Ohio, on the first day of Pride Month, rather than attend the California Democratic Convention, at which several of the former vice president's 2020 rivals gave speeches.

  • During his HRC speech, the former vice president noted 5 black transgender women were killed this year. He said the fastest way to stop the violence was to "end the Trump administration."
  • Biden denounced the Trump administration for attempting to roll back LGBTQ rights protection.
  • He accused President Trump and the White House of having a "bully pulpit" to "callously" extend power over the most vulnerable, "implementing the most discriminatory policies like Muslim bans, turning away asylum seekers, putting children in cages."
  • Biden said Vice President Mike Pence was using religious freedom as an "excuse to license discrimination." "It's wrong and it is immoral what they're doing," he said.

The other side: President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration "has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality." He invited all nations to join the effort.

"As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals...on the basis of their sexual orientation."

Go deeper: Joe Biden on the issues, in under 500 words

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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