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Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has released a statement officially recognizing June as the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride Month.
“Fifty years ago, a group of courageous individuals took their first steps towards pride in the Christopher Street Day Liberation March. One year after Stonewall, the world’s first pride march was an act of rebellion, a protest for LGBTQ+ people to be treated as human beings, and a demand that America live up to its founding principles,” Biden said in a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, Jill Biden.
While enumerating the “remarkable” progress that LGBTQ people have made over the past 50 years — including many of the major civil rights milestones achieved during the Obama presidency — and praising those activists who took action on behalf of the community, the former vice president noted that “much work remains” before full lived equality is achieved.
“As our nation grapples with the uncomfortable truths of systemic racism, a devastating pandemic that’s claimed more than 100,000 lives in the United States and left more than 40 million people filing for unemployment, and a President that’s waged an all-out assault on the rights of our most vulnerable, including LGBTQ+ people, we are reminded of why those first brave souls took to the streets to march 50 years ago,” Biden said in a statement eviscerating the Trump-Pence administration for actions taken to roll back some of the rights or recognition that the LGBTQ community has achieved.
Biden also promised to reverse those harmful actions should he be elected president, while once again promising to sign the Equality Act, a bill that would add LGBTQ protections into existing civil rights law.
“We must send a clear message that hatred and bigotry have no place in America or on the world stage,” Biden said.
“Pride has come to be recognized as a global movement of love, self-expression, and community — resilient in the face of oppression and fear and hopeful for a better future,” he added. “This month, let us recommit to those principles of Pride and remain steadfast in the fight for justice and equality. Let us celebrate and honor the legacies of Aimee Stephens, Larry Kramer, and Lorena Borjas. Together, we will write a new chapter in America’s march toward justice and win the battle ahead of us this November.”
Conversely, the White House did not issue an official statement recognizing June as Pride Month, although Trump’s campaign website has begun selling Pride-themed merchandise, including a white T-shirt with rainbow-colored font reading: “Make America Great Again.”
The description of the product reads: “Show your support for the LGBT community and the 45th President with this exclusive Make America Great Again T-Shirt.”
LGBTQ advocates criticized Trump for recognizing “Global Coptic Day,” , while failing to officially recognize Pride Month.
“This June, the Trump-Pence administration has yet again failed to recognize Pride Month to honor the history of the LGBTQ community and acknowledge the ongoing movement toward full equality,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “In a global pandemic and national crisis highlighting ongoing racial violence and police brutality across the country — violence that particularly targets Black lives — Trump and his administration have stoked division, hate, and anger with continued attacks on LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable communities.”
He continue: “The first pride started with protest. LGBTQ people — led in large part by transgender women of color — resisted police brutality and violence at Stonewall, the Black Cat and Compton’s Cafeteria, among other. In this moment, we must unite like never before and take action, combat racism in all its forms and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality.”
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