At a joint news conference with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday, President Biden replied to a question about the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation and violence across the country. Biden outlined new actions the administration is taking to protect the LGBTQ community, and volunteered to call the family of an LGBTQ girl in Texas who a reporter said does not feel safe, saying, “The president and this administration has their back.”
- All over the country, Mr. President, Republican-led states are passing laws-- passing anti-LGBTQ, anti-transgender laws that restrict rights and medical care. Intimidation is on the rise. This week, anti-LGBTQ protesters turned violent in California.
And also recently, I spoke to the parents of a transgender girl in Texas who told me that they're afraid and that they are considering leaving not just their state, but the country. Sir, why do you think this is happening? And what do you say to parents like the ones that I spoke to-- to those families who are contemplating leaving the country because they don't feel safe anymore?
JOE BIDEN: First of all, maybe quietly when we finish this, you can give me the number of that family. And I will call them let them know that the President and this administration has their back. And I mean that.
Look, as President, I was proud to end the ban on transgender troops in our military, sign the Respect for Marriage Act, strengthen the civil rights protections for LGBT-- LBGT Americans, and advance LGBT human rights around the globe. But 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.
It's an appeal to fear. And it's appeal that is totally, thoroughly unjustified and ugly. It's wrong for-- that a person can be married in the morning in the United States and fired in the afternoon by their employer because they're gay.
It's wrong that the violence and hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people is rising. It's wrong that extreme officials are pushing hateful bills targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors. These are our kids. These are our neighbors.
It's cruel. And it's callous. They're not somebody else's kids. They're all our kids. They're the kids-- and our children are the strings that hold our national ambitions aloft. It matters a great deal how we treat everyone in this country.
And the fact is that I'm announcing today a series of new initiatives that we're taking to protect the LGBT community. I was going to do this at the fore out on the South Lawn, we're having Pride Day, but we're going to have to postpone it because of the climate, because of the weather, and the pollution out there because of the fires. But number one, we're going to strengthen the physical safety-- dedicated resources of the federal coordination of better protect pride celebrations, marches, community centers, health care providers, and small businesses.
Secondly, we're addressing the civil rights violations-- a new coordinator to protect LGBT students from book bans, which make it harder for kids to learn and may violate their civil rights at the same time. We're also engaging in mental health and other supports-- more mental health resources and funding to help families support their kids, new efforts to protect LGBTQ kids in foster care, and steps to end the absolute end of LGBTQ2 homelessness.
Congress has to pass, and I'm not giving up on this, just like they told me we couldn't get the Marriage Act passed, Congress must pass-- must pass the Equality Act and send it to my desk. 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.