President Joe Biden warns of “rising hate and violence” against the LGBTQ+ community amid a sharp increase in anti-LGBTQ+ laws and rhetoric across the country.
In a statement released to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), President Joe Biden delivered a message of “support and solidarity” to LGBTQ+ Americans and gave mention to ‘disturbing setbacks’ the community has faced.
“Jill and I stand in support and solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, Transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people in the United States and around the world,” said Biden’s White House statement.
“We join with Americans across the country to reaffirm our commitment to the ongoing work of upholding human dignity for all people and advancing equality globally.”
“On this day in 1990, the World Health Organization took the long overdue step of declassifying ‘homosexuality’ as a mental disorder,” Biden continued.
“Since that time, there has been much progress. But we continue to witness disturbing setbacks and rising hate and violence targeting LGBTQI+ people in the United States and around the world. This is wrong. LGBTQI+ people are entitled to all the rights, opportunities, and protections that belong to every human on this planet.”
Biden then drew reference to the rise in anti-LGBT legislation across various states in the US, saying:
“Make no mistake: Hateful legislative attacks against members of our own LGBTQI+ community cannot be tolerated in America or anywhere else,”
“They spur discrimination and can stoke violence. And they are rooted in the same ignorance and intolerance that we see around the world. Hate is hate—and all of us have a responsibility to speak out against hate wherever we find it.”
It is estimated that, so far in 2022, Republican lawmakers have proposed over 320 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the US, some of which are still being debated in state legislatures.
The Human Rights Campaign reports that at least 140 directly target trans people.
In recent months, we’ve witnessed a marked increase in GOP lawmakers, pundits and public figures accusing opponents of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation – such as Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and its numerous copycats – of trying to “groom” or “indoctrinate” children.
The word “grooming” has long been a tool for mischaracterizing LGBTQ+ people and their allies, more frequently applied to gay men and transgender women in an attempt to conflate them with child sex abusers.
Earlier this month, following the Supreme Court leak of a plan to repeal abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, Biden issued a warning that LGBTQ+ kids will be the next target of the ‘Republican MAGA crowd’.