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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Marking National Coming Out Day, President Biden on Monday called on state lawmakers to defeat anti-LGBTQ bills and for Congress to pass the Equality Act.

Driving the news: In the first quarter of this year, Republicans in at least 25 states introduced more anti-trans bills than the total number introduced in all of 2020.

What he's saying: "Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures," Biden said in a statement.

  • "We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere," he added.
  • "From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love."

The big picture: The Equality Act, which already passed the House, would expand federal protections for LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The bottom line: "Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are — regardless of whether or not you’ve come out," Biden said.

Go deeper: 2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Go deeper

The battle over state gun laws

Expand chart
Data: Giffords Law Center; Chart: Will Chase/Axios. Note: Bills under same category can have varying levels of strength.

Federal gun control proposals have stalled out, but 44 states and the District of Columbia have enacted around 200 gun and community violence-related laws this year, according to data from the gun safety group Giffords Law Center provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Firearm purchases have spiked, with the FBI conducting a record number of firearm background checks last year. President Biden launched efforts to prevent gun violence, but Congress hasn't budged, leaving it to the states to set their own gun laws.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has frozen a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.