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Biden Welcomes Pride Month Amid ‘Unconscionable’ State-Level Attacks

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued a proclamation welcoming the arrival of LGBTQ Pride Month and celebrating progress toward equality ― but additionally acknowledging some negative trends.

“This month, we remind the LGBTQI+ community that they’re loved and cherished” and are “deserving of dignity, respect, and support,” Biden said within the proclamation.

While the president applauded victories “within the fight for justice, inclusion, and equality,” including expanded protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, supporting transgender members of the military, and creating more inclusive passports, he also noted the “cruel, persistent efforts to undermine” human rights in lots of states.

“An onslaught of dangerous anti-LGBTQI+ laws has been introduced and passed in States across the country, targeting transgender children and their parents and interfering with their access to health care,” Biden said. “These unconscionable attacks have left countless LGBTQI+ families in fear and pain.”

That laws includes Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed into law; an effort in Texas to treat gender-affirming treatments as child abuse; banning trans kids from receiving medical care in Arkansas; and attacks on trans athletes in quite a few state legislatures.

Citing a 2022 report by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, Biden noted that 45% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide up to now 12 months — “a devastating reality” deserving of urgent attention, he said.

“This month, we honor the resilience of LGBTQI+ people, who’re fighting to live authentically and freely,” Biden said. “We reaffirm our belief that LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. And we recommit to delivering protections, safety, and equality to LGBTQI+ families so that everybody can realize the complete promise of America.”

“I call upon the people of america to acknowledge the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community, to have a good time the good diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.”

When you or someone you already know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It’s also possible to text HOME to 741-741 free of charge, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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