Karine Jean-Pierre slams Republicans’ anti-trans attacks during Pride

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

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the first out lesbian to hold the position, discussed President Joe Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’ support for the LGBTQ+ community, and pushed back against Republican attempts to curb rights for gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans during Monday’s press conference.

“This month, we’ll continue to celebrate courageous LGBTQI+ people and take pride in the example they set for our nation and around the world,” Jean-Pierre said.

“In recognition of Pride Month, the Biden-Harris administration joins Americans across the country to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of the LGBTQI+ community,” Jean-Pierre added. “This month is a time to reflect on the progress we have made in pursuit of equality, justice, and inclusion, and it’s time to recommit ourselves to do more to support LGBTQI+ rights at home and around the world.”

Jean-Pierre noted that the administration has done much to better the lives of queer Americans, including launching a national suicide and crisis lifeline, which includes a line specifically for LGBTQ+ youth.

“The Biden-Harris administration launched the 988 line to help, and we have a line dedicated to serving LGBTQI+ young people that can be reached by dialing 9-8-8 and pressing three,” she said.

The Biden-Harris administration has also introduced new Title IX and VII rules, which created protection against discrimination for trans and nonbinary students in school and workplace settings. Under this new law, schools and workplaces that do not allow students and workers to use facilities that align with their gender identity or don’t respect their pronouns, commit federal civil rights violations and face potential investigation, legal prosecution, fines, and other consequences.

Jean-Pierre also highlighted the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. This year alone, over 600 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced nationwide — most has targeted queer youth.

Jean-Pierre said that “as President Biden says, these young people are some of the bravest people he knows, but no one should have to be brave just to be themselves.”

GOP states have spent the year spreading lies and misinformation about the trans community and trying to make schools unsafe for trans children. South Carolina became the 25th state to restrict gender-affirming care for minors, meaning half the states in the United States ban care for trans children. North Dakota recently passed a bill that allows cisgender people to sue trans people who use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, and requires trans people to use bathrooms matching the sex they were assigned at birth.

Jean-Pierre said that the “Biden-Harris administration is going to continue to speak out and stand up against these attacks and when will remain focused on realizing the promise of America for all Americans.”

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. The Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) is staffed by trans people and will not contact law enforcement. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for youth via chat, text (678-678), or phone (1-866-488-7386). Help is available at all three resources in English and Spanish.

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