Hundreds of people attended President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s Pride Month celebration at the White House on Saturday.
Emphasizing the administration's support for the LGBTQ+ community, the event was aimed at reassuring the LGBTQ+ community that they feel welcomed amidst concerns over a rise in discriminatory legislation, especially targeting transgender people, being passed in various states.
"So today, I want to send a message to the entire community — especially to transgender children: You are loved. You are heard. You're understood. And you belong," President Biden said.
Originally planned for Thursday, the event, which was said to be the largest Pride celebration in White House history, was rescheduled due to compromised air quality caused by hazardous air originating from Canadian wildfires.
However, on Thursday, the White House unveiled aseries of new initiatives aimed at safeguarding the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community within the United States.
"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," President Biden said."These are our kids. These are our neighbors. It’s cruel, and it’s callous. Not somebody else’s kids; they’re all our kids. They’re the kids — and our children are the kite strings that hold our national ambitions aloft. It matters a great deal how we treat everyone in this country."
The initiative is called the "LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership," and it’s a collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services to work with community organizations to provide safety training and resources to protect and better serve the community.
In addition to providing resources to "help kids thrive across mental health, family affirmation, homelessness, and foster care," the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will appoint a new coordinator to lead the charge on book banning.
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