The difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump during Pride Month could not be more obvious

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Joe Biden has paid tribute to the work of LGBT+ activists and pledged to advance equal rights, as Donald Trump once again remains silent during Pride Month.

Marking Pride Month on June 1, Biden – who has been endorsed by many major LGBT+ rights groups – paid tribute to the recently-deceased queer rights heroes Larry Kramer, Aimee Stephens and Lorena Borjas.

Joe Biden marks Pride Month:  ‘We must send a clear message that hatred and bigotry have no place in America.’

He added: “We’ve made remarkable progress towards LGBT+ rights in the decades since [the 1969 Stonewall riots], from Harvey Milk’s historic election to the first openly gay major presidential candidate.

“During the Obama-Biden Administration alone, we signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law; repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; addressed the epidemic of bullying in schools; established the advancement of LGBT+ equality as a foreign policy priority; and the White House beamed bright with the colours of the rainbow to mark the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision recognising marriage equality.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden (Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Biden accused Donald Trump and Mike Pence of using the White House “as a literal bully pulpit to undermine LGBT+ rights,” adding: “They have given safe harbour to white supremacists and other forms of hate. Predictably, we’ve experienced a rise in hate crimes targeting LGBT+ people.

“They rescinded the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country in the military, have denied LGBT+ people access to critical health care, and are failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people.

“The Trump-Pence Administration has abdicated America’s global leadership on human rights and walked away from our values, repeatedly failing to speak out against the abuses of authoritarian regimes.”

Biden continued: “This is wrong. We must send a clear message that hatred and bigotry have no place in America or on the world stage. As president, I will take swift action to reverse these odious policies and advance our progress toward ending discrimination against LGBT+ individuals. And I will start by signing into law the Equality Act.

“There are dark and challenging realities ahead that we cannot ignore. Yet, I remain optimistic because I believe in who we are as a nation. I believe in the story of this country and the LGBT+ community.”

Donald Trump fails to mark Pride Month… again.

The Trump White House failed to officially recognise Pride Month for yet another year, in contrast to the Obama administration.

While Biden’s comprehensive LGBT+ policy plan has won him plaudits from campaigners, Trump’s re-election campaign has published no policies whatsoever on LGBT+ issues – though he is raising funds by selling rainbow ‘Make America Great Again’ t-shirts.

The Trump administration has been widely condemned for moves to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, with his Justice Department arguing that is is legal to fire employees for being LGBT+.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Department of Health and Human Services, headed by Trump ally Alex Azar, has pushed forward regulations that would “dramatically expand the ability of health care institutions and workers” to refuse to provide services or information based on “religious or moral objections”.

Meanwhile, Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson has pursued a rule to allow federally-funded homeless shelters to reject transgender and gender nonconforming people based on “the shelter’s religious beliefs”.

Concerns have also been raised about changes in regulations at the Department of Labor, which has issued a proposed rule that would permit religious federal contractors to “discriminate in employment against anyone who does not follow the tenets of the employer’s faith, even if it leads to discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity”.