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Harris goes after GOP-led states in speech at DC Pride festival

Vice President Harris criticized Republican-led states that have passed dozens of laws targeting LGBTQ youth during a speech at a Capital Pride Festival in D.C. on Sunday.

“No one should fear going to a nightclub for fear that a terrorist might try to take them down,” Harris said on Sunday, which also marked the sixth anniversary of a mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando where a gunman killed 49 people and injured 58 others.

“No one should fear loving who they love,” Harris also said at the festival. “Our children in Texas and Florida should not fear who they are.”

“We should not have to be dealing with 300 laws in states around our country that are attacking our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters,” she added.

The vice president’s remarks come after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an order directing the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents or guardians of transgender youth who have received gender-affirming care.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.

Many other GOP-led states have passed bills banning transgender athletes from competing in girls sports.

Last week, three families of transgender children in Texas filed a lawsuit in an effort to block state investigations into them for alleged child abuse.

“Their actions have caused terror and anxiety among transgender youth and their families across the Lone Star State and singled out transgender youth and their families for discrimination and harassment,” the lawsuit said of Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner Jaime Masters and Abbott.

Meanwhile, President Biden has officially declared June to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month and has condemned legislation targeted at the LGBTQ+ community. 

“Members of the LGBTQI+ community — especially people of color and trans people — continue to face discrimination and cruel, persistent efforts to undermine their human rights,” Biden said earlier this month. 

“All of this compounded has been especially difficult on LGBTQI+ youth, 45 percent of whom seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year — a devastating reality that our Nation must work urgently to address,” he also said.

Last year, Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff spoke at a D.C. Pride parade, pressing for expanded protections for LGBTQ+ communities.

“We need to pass the Equality Act. We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need still protections around employment and housing,” she said last year.

“There is so much more work to do. And I know we are committed and we understand the importance of this movement and our roles of leadership in this ongoing movement,” she added.

Source: The Hill

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