Joe Biden vows to protect LGBTQ+ people from being ‘targeted with violence’

Joe Biden speaks during the UN General Assembly 2023.

US president Joe Biden has vowed to stop LGBTQ+ groups being “prosecuted or targeted with violence” across the world.

The Democrat president made the statement during his remarks at the UN General Assembly, on Tuesday (19 September).

Prior to a speech from Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden said he was ready to “uphold equal and inalienable rights” for every group across the globe.

“We cannot turn away from abuses, whether in Xinjiang, Tehran, Darfur or anywhere else,” he said.

“We have to continue working to ensure that women and girls enjoy equal rights and equal participation in their societies, that indigenous groups – racial, ethnic, religious minorities, people with disabilities – do not have their potential stifled by systematic discrimination, that LGBTQI+ people are not prosecuted or targeted with violence because of who they are.”

Joe Biden continued by saying that equal rights across all groups are “part of our shared humanity” and that, when they are absent, “their loss is felt everywhere”.

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While his presidency has seen some major steps forward for LGBTQ+ Americans, he has held office during one of the most-sustained legislative attacks against the queer community in recent history, with an ongoing report on state legislatures by the American Civil Liberties Union tracking 496 anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in the US since the beginning of the year.

Several of those bills have passed into law, including outlawing gender-affirming care, drag queen censorship and the banning of books.

Biden Administration has ‘opened doors for LGBTQ+ Americans’

The wave of anti-LGBTQ+ fervour across the US has led to doubts regarding the 46th president’s ability to suppress homophobic views at home and beyond.

However, a “Biden Accountability Tracker” from LGBTQ+ group GLAAD tracked 258 pro-LGBTQ+ moves in the space of 973 days, a little less than three years. These include supportive statements, policy signings and inclusive appointments.

After the accountability tracker hit its 100th entry in January 2022, GLAAD president and chief executive, Sarah Kate Ellis, said it was a “180-degree turnaround from the previous administration” of Republican Donald Trump.

“President Biden and his administration have opened doors for LGBTQ+ Americans and demonstrated unprecedented commitment to ending discrimination and urging full equality in every area of society,” Ellis said.

“In appointing out leaders, in creating and implementing policies to advance equity, in verbal and visual statements of support, the Biden administration is including, celebrating and demanding 100 per cent acceptance for all LGBTQ+ people.”

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