Joe Biden scolds GOP for using budget negotiations to target LGBTQ+ people

U.S. President Joe Biden announces a multi-billion dollar grant for CHIPS manufacturing while visiting Intel's manufacturing campus in Chandler on Mar 20, 2024.
U.S. President Joe Biden announces a multi-billion dollar grant for CHIPS manufacturing while visiting Intel's manufacturing campus in Chandler on Mar 20, 2024. Photo: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

In a searing statement, the White House slammed an anti-LGBTQ+ provision included in the new federal spending bill signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday.

In a victory for LGBTQ+ people, the bill contains almost none of the over 50 anti-LGBTQ+ “policy riders” that far-right Republicans wanted. The single anti-LGBTQ+ provision remaining in the bill prevents Pride flags from being flown over U.S. embassies in foreign countries.

“President Biden believes it was inappropriate to abuse the process that was essential to keep the government open by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans,” said the White House statement.

“While it will have no impact on the ability of members of the LGBTQI+ community to serve openly in our embassies or to celebrate Pride, the Administration fought against the inclusion of this policy and we will continue to work with members of Congress to find an opportunity to repeal it.”

Out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reaffirmed on X that President Biden is “committed to fighting for LGBTQI+ equality at home and abroad.”

Sources told the press that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) bragged about the anti-LGBTQ+ provision and used it as a way to convince other Republicans to vote for the bill.

Many have mocked the GOP for considering it a win, however, since there are ways around the rule.

“The flag provision would continue to allow pride flags to be present in almost all cases at embassies, except flown *over* the exterior of the building,” wrote the Human Rights Campaign’s National Press Secretary, Brandon Wolf. “It doesn’t limit a flag on, in front of, inside, at workspaces, etc. Trying to sell that as your big win is pathetic.”

Wolf added that Johnson’s brag is a “spin from a man desperate to appease a base whose agenda is a unmitigated disaster.”

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus had tried to use budget negotiations to end government funding of any entity that “promotes transgenderism” or provides gender-affirming care; any federal agencies pursuing policies to expand diversity, equality, and inclusivity (DEI); any legal consequences for federal contractors who discriminate against LGBTQ+ people but claim their religion made them do it; and any implementation of the Department of Education’s rules requiring schools to accommodate trans students.

In a February 2023 letter to Johnson, the House Freedom Caucus said its members would vote against the spending bill and shut down the government unless these riders were included.

“Rather than working to address the problems facing Americans and supporting working families, anti-equality members of Congress [had] attempt[ed] to hijack the appropriations process to restrict the rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTQI+ people,” the Congressional Equality Caucus and 163 representatives wrote in a November 2023 letter to Biden.

“The majority of Americans —Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQI+ people and we should not enshrine discrimination into law via the appropriations process or restrict the ability of the federal government to enforce existing nondiscrimination laws.”

The passage of the $1.2 trillion spending package has allowed the country to avert a government shutdown.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Joe Biden humiliated Donald Trump in just five scathing words

Previous article

Rabid protestors & bomb scares get drag story hour canceled: “It just breaks my heart”

Next article