Politics

Karine Jean-Pierre says White House supports Virginia students protesting for trans equality

Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing, Friday, November 5, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing, Friday, November 5, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

After students across Virginia walked out of school on Tuesday to protest anti-trans policies, out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reaffirmed the Biden Administration’s support for transgender students.

A reporter asked Jean-Pierre – who is the first out LGBTQ and first Black press secretary – if the White House supported the student protesters. She said she had not seen the reports but that “this is a president that supports the LGBTQI+ community.”

“He speaks always, always is proud to speak out against the mistreatment of that community. We believe and he believes transgender youth should be allowed to be able to go to school freely, to be able to express themselves freely, to be able to have the protections that they need to be who they are.”

“We can say with all confidence… when it comes to this community he is a partner and he is a strong ally, as well as the vice president,” she said.

On Tuesday, Virginia students marched out of school carrying Pride flags and holding signs supporting the trans community.

They were protesting a series of anti-trans policies proposed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) under Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) administration.

The proposed policies require written permission from a student’s parents before teachers can call them by a name or pronoun they were not given at birth. But teachers will be allowed to misgender students even if parents submit all the required requests, citing teachers’ rights to free speech. Teachers will also be required to share information about students’ gender identity with their parents.

The policies also require students to use locker rooms and restrooms in accordance with their sex assigned at birth, play sports according to their sex assigned at birth, and participate in all other gender-segregated school activities according to their sex assigned at birth.

The policies are currently in a public comment period until October 26.

Youngkin is a Trump-endorsed governor who has consistently spoken out against LGBTQ rights. While running for governor, he made schools the theme of his campaign.

He ran on a platform of parents’ rights and centered his campaign around parents who wish to shut down progressive policies in public schools.

A third of Republicans say it would be a “bad thing” if there were more LGBTQ people in Congress

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