Dressed in a pink jacket and a T-shirt with the slogan "Love is love" ("Love is love"), the North American vice president marched with her husband, Doug Emhoff.
The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, surprised the participants in a march on the occasion of LGBTQ + pride month this Saturday by joining their ranks during part of the tour, in addition to advocating for better protection for transgender people in the country.
Dressed in a pink jacket and a T-shirt with the slogan "Love is love," Harris joined the pride march organized by a local Washington organization with her husband, Doug Emhoff.
The two walked among the participants for a few meters. They greeted those who cheered them from the sidewalks in the center of the capital, where pride month annually inspires many celebrations.
"Happy (pride) month!" Harris exclaimed to those who cheered before stopping and delivering a more elaborate message.
We need to make sure our transgender community and our young people are safe. We still need concerns about employment and housing. "I have a lot more to do, and I know we are committed," he said.
The vice president spoke like this shortly after the US president, Joe Biden, stated on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the worst attack against the LGTBQ + community in US history. This shooting left 49 dead in the gay nightclub Press of Orlando (Florida).
In his statement, Biden called for increased gun control and highlighted "the particular impact of gun violence on LGTBQ + communities," in addition to condemning "the epidemic of violence and hatred against transgender women, especially transgender women who are not white.".
At least 44 transgender or gender non-binary people were shot or killed by other means in the United States in 2020, the deadliest year for that group in the last decade; and 28 others have died in the same way so far in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Biden asked the Senate to "quickly" approve the Equality Act, already endorsed by the House of Representatives last February and which would prohibit "discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity" in public spaces and social programs financed with federal funds.
The Biden administration has called for diversity in the federal government. The White House noted Tuesday that 14% of all presidential appointments identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was the first openly gay cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. Dr. Rachel Levine, Deputy Secretary of Health for the Department of Health and Human Services, was the first publicly transgender federal official through the Senate.
Biden's views on gay rights have evolved over his decades. While in the 90 'he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and in favor of cutting federal funds to schools that taught acceptance of homosexuality; as vice president, he was the Highest-ranking Democrat who initially supported same-sex marriage in 2012, revealing his position in a television interview. He is credited with pushing President Barack Obama to express his support for gay marriage a few days later.
After years of saying he believed marriage was between a man and a woman, Biden's decision to support same-sex marriage was seen as a watershed moment for the country's leaders on LGBTQ issues.