For the first time in five years, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
President Joe Biden began his Pride Month proclamation acknowledging the Stonewall riots of 1969 and some of the progress that has been made in regard to LGBTQ rights since that time.
Biden included the right to marriage equality, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the right for LGBTQ Americans to serve openly in the U.S. military as positive steps forward since the infamous riots in Greenwich Village.
He also made note of the fact that nearly 14 percent of his agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+ including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. Buttigieg and Levine are the first openly gay and openly transgender presidential appointees, respectively, to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Additionally, Biden mentions some of the actions he has taken on behalf of LGBTQ Americans like signing an Executive Order on his first day in office “charging Federal agencies to fully enforce all Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Reversing the woefully misguided ban on transgender military service members was also accomplished early on in the Biden administration.
But the president also acknowledges the challenges queer Americans still face like “protections for fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations and other spaces.”
Writing that he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is achieved,” Biden again calls on Congress to pass the Equality Act (currently stalled in the Senate) which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights laws.
Biden also mentions the spike in violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color as well as the proliferation of anti-trans legislation currently being passed in state legislatures.
The president closes the proclamation noting “the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically.” He also calls upon Americans 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.”
President Bill Clinton issued the first presidential proclamation recognizing Pride Month in 1999 and did so again in 2000.
President George W. Bush chose not to issue Pride proclamations, so the LGBTQ community would wait 8 years before President Barack Obama resumed the practice in 2009, his first year in the White House. Obama recognized LGBTQ Pride every year of his administration.
Consistent with his anti-LGBTQ administration, Donald Trump did not acknowledge Pride Month during his four years other than a single tweet in 2019. Although, he did hawk rainbow merchandise in his online campaign store in an effort to grift funds from his homocon supporters.
Read the full presidential proclamation at WhiteHouse.gov.