President Joe Biden has issued a proclamation recognizing June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, marking a change from recent years when the Trump administration largely ignored or downplayed the significance of the month and the larger LGBTQ rights movement for which it’s named.
“The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all,” the proclamation reads. “Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality.
“Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity,” the proclamation continues. “This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.”
The proclamation acknowledges the significant progress that the LGBTQ community has achieved since the Stonewall uprising credited with sparking the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement, including passage of hate crimes protections, marriage equality, and increased LGBTQ representation in political office and high-ranking government positions — with the Biden administration claiming that LGBTQ people have comprised 14% of the president’s appointees, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.
But it also acknowledges that enumerated rights and protections for LGBTQ people are lacking in many states, and that LGBTQ individuals face disproportionate levels of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and physical violence, especially transgender women of color.
Biden’s proclamation also touts actions his administration has taken to achieve LGBTQ equality. He previously signed an executive order calling on federal agencies to interpret and enforce federal laws in a way that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
President Biden also repealed the Trump administration’s previous policy barring transgender individuals from serving openly in the U.S. military, and has taken steps to prevent anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing, education, and health care, among his other accomplishments.
“While I am proud of the progress my Administration has made in advancing protections for the LGBTQ+ community, I will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law,” Biden said in the proclamation. “That is why I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will ensure civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people and families across our country. And that is why we must recognize emerging challenges, like the fact that many LGBTQ+ seniors, who faced discrimination and oppression throughout their lives, are isolated and need support and elder care.”
Biden’s proclamation continued: “During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America. This Pride Month, we affirm our obligation to uphold the dignity of all people, and dedicate ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable among us…. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”
Similarly, GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, acknowledged the ongoing challenges facing the LGBTQ community and called on allies — including government actors like Biden — to support the LGBTQ community by passing the Equality Act to ensure legal protections for LGBTQ people.
“This Pride Month, we are once again reminded that despite great strides of progress made for the LGBTQ community over the past few decades, the fight for full LGBTQ acceptance is far from over. At a time when the number of out LGBTQ people continues to grow, we should take Pride Month to celebrate who we are, but also to remember the root of Pride is in protest and in demanding full acceptance and equality,” GLAAD said in a statement. “The spirit of Pride is needed this month and all year long.
“This Pride Month, it has never been more important to show up for LGBTQ people, specifically the trans community, which continues to be disproportionately impacted by discrimination, violence, and inequality,” GLAAD added. “…As we reflect on and honor the past 52 years since the Stonewall riots and all the trailblazers who have paved the way for acceptance and visibility of our community today, we must remain centered on the reality that full LGBTQ acceptance can not be achieved until we protect the most vulnerable among us.”
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