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Biden Condemns 'Cruel' Laws Restricting LGBTQ+ Rights

'These are our kids,' president says in reassuring young people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2023 9:23 PM CDT
Biden Condemns 'Cruel' Laws Restricting LGBTQ+ Rights
President Biden speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Biden on Thursday condemned a wave of "cruel" and "callous" state laws curbing the rights, visibility, and health care access of LGBTQ+ people, especially children, leaving them feeling under attack like never before and the White House with limited options to intervene. "These are our kids. These are our neighbors. It's cruel and it's callous," Biden said at a news conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the AP reports. "It matters a great deal how we treat everyone in this country." Biden commented hours after the White House postponed a Pride Month celebration with thousands of guests Thursday night on the South Lawn because of poor air quality from hazardous air flowing in from Canadian wildfires.

The president noted steps he has taken to help protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people but said "our fight is far, far from over because we have some hysterical and, I would argue, prejudiced people who are engaged in all what you see going on around the country." He said what is happening in some states is an "unjustified and ugly" appeal to fear and called on lawmakers to pass legislation, which has been stalled in Congress, that would protect the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. “Congress must pass, must pass the Equality Act and send it to my desk," Biden said of a measure he had named a top priority during his 2020 campaign.

The president then spoke directly to LGBTQ+ Americans, especially children. "You're loved, you're heard, and this administration has your back, and I mean it. We are not relenting one single second to make sure that they're protected." Biden described new initiatives the administration announced earlier Thursday to protect LGBTQ+ communities from attack, help young people in foster care, those suffering with mental health or experiencing homelessness, and to counter book bans, though the effects may be limited.

(Read more LGBTQ stories.)

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