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Biden’s Pride month proclamation condemns ‘unconscionable attacks’ from anti-LGBT+ legislation

US president urges nation to address high rates of youth suicides and disproportionate levels of poverty, unemployment and homelessness among LGBT+ Americans

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 31 May 2022 19:04 BST
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President Joe Biden has issued a White House proclamation recognising LGBT+ Pride month with a warning that the rights of LGBT+ Americans are under “relentless attack” from a wave of state-level legislation and “cruel, persistent efforts to undermine their human rights”.

He condemned the “onslaught of dangerous” legislation introduced and passed across the US within the first few months of 2022, most of which targeted transgender students and access to gender-affirming care.

“These unconscionable attacks have left countless [LGBT+] families in fear and pain,” the 31 May proclamation reads.

The legislative attacks are compounded by high rates of LGBT+ suicide, said Mr Biden, pointing to the results of a survey from The Trevor Project finding that 45 per cent of LGBT+ youth have seriously considered suicide within the last year, “a devastating reality that our nation must work urgently to address”.

The White House proclamation also tells LGBT+ Americans that they are “loved and cherished”.

“My administration sees you for who you are – deserving of dignity, respect, and support,” it reads. “I will always have your back as your president so that you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.”

The president also urged Congress to pass the Equality Act, which has passed the Democratically controlled House of Representatives but has languished in the deadlocked Senate.

He also called for protections for LGBT+ seniors as well as efforts to combat disproportionate rates of poverty, homelessness and unemployment among LGBT+ Americans.

Dozens of state-level bills filed in 2022 have largely been aimed at restricting classroom speech and limiting healthcare for transgender youth and how transgender athletes can participate in school sports that match their gender.

The US Department of Edcation and the US Department of Justice, which has joined a lawsuit against the state of Alabama for its felony ban on gender-affirming care, have also warned state attorneys general and state officials about their compliance with federal constitutional and statutory provisions to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination.

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