President Joe Biden, in recognition of National Coming Out Day, issued a statement on Monday criticized states that have attempted to pass anti-LGBTQ+ laws and urged the Senate to pass the long-awaited Equality Act.
Biden characterized state law targeting the LGBTQ+ community as “discriminatory”, adding that the United States “has more work to do” to ensure that Americans are forced to live in fear of being harassed. Not done “Because of who they are or whom they love.”
Biden said his administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ individuals “can live openly, proudly and freely in every corner of our country.”
The president said he wants every member of the LGBTQ+ community to “know that you are loved and accepted just as you are – whether you came out or not.”
Since the start of 2020, legislators in at least 25 states have introduced more than 75 bills that target LGBTQ+ people, many of which specifically target transgender youth, According to A tally compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union. A variety of these measures are aimed at withholding or criminalizing healthcare for transgender youth, prohibiting the use of appropriate facilities such as restrooms, or restricting transgender students’ ability to fully participate in school and sports. The ACLU tells. In February, the US House of Representatives in a 224-206 vote passed the Equality Act, which aims to stop discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Equality Act would amend federal law, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act, to explicitly include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. The bill would also expand anti-discrimination protections to cover all federally funded programs and public places and services.
What to look for:
The Equality Act would require 60 votes to be passed in the Senate. It had earlier passed the House in 2019 but later Died in the upper house of Congress. However, lawmakers have expressed renewed confidence about receiving the 60 votes needed to pass the law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in late February, “This time, it will not only be passed in the House, but on track to be signed at the White House. We’re very excited about that.”
“Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still circulate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment—particularly young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color—still undermine our national character,” Biden said Monday.
Following a study that found systemic gender stereotypes affect many children, Lego, the world’s largest toy maker, announced Monday that its future products and marketing will be free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.
President Biden’s Statement on National Coming Out Day (whitehouse.gov)
Lego pledges to remove gender bias and harmful stereotypes from its toys (Businesshala)