WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden said on Thursday that his administration “stands” against passing a “disgusting bill” at the state level for transgender Americans and is committed to advancing equality in society.
Biden made the comments in a brief video message commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility.
In the video, Biden said, “The attack on you and your families by anti-transgender state laws is absolutely wrong.” “This administration stands for you against all these disgusting bills. And we are committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom, on the playground, at work, in our military and in our housing and health care systems. ,
“Everywhere. Just everywhere,” Biden said.
The administration announced a number of actions to make the federal government more inclusive of transgender people. The move comes as Republican leaders advanced state measures targeting transgender people as part of a broader push to fuel culture wars in a crucial election season.
Read more: Oklahoma, Arizona governor bans transgender athletes into law
The administration said the federal government will become more inclusive of transgender people, including the use of a new “X” gender marker on U.S. passport applications starting April 11, and gender-neutral new Transportation Security Administration scanners.
It is working to expand the availability of the “X” gender marker for airlines and federal travel programs and make it easier for transgender people to change their gender information in Social Security Administration records.
Visitors to the White House complex will soon also be able to choose the “X” gender marker option in the White House Worker and Visitor Entry System, which is used to perform screening background checks.
At airports, changes will be made to screening scanners and the use of “X” will be introduced for passengers passing through PreCheck who do not identify as male or female. Transportation Security Administration agents will receive new instructions on how to make screening procedures less invasive and work with airlines to promote acceptance of the “X” gender marker.
In the video, Biden said there was still work to be done to end the “epidemic of violence against transgender women of color and girls of color” and to ensure that transgender seniors “can age with dignity.” He called on Congress to pass the Equality Act to help transgender people around the world “live free of discrimination and violence.”
Biden tried to reassure any transgender person struggling, asking them to remember that “you are not alone.”
“You’re so brave. You are. And we have your back,” Biden said.
The administration’s action follows recent steps at the state level to limit activity by transgender people. At least 10 states have banned transgender athletes from participating in sports at all levels that correspond to their gender identity.
Read more: Texas judge to hear state probe into gender affirming care for transgender youth
In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who is seeking re-election, has ordered the state’s child welfare agency to investigate reports of gender-affirming care for children as abuse.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is running for re-election and is considering a 2024 presidential bid, signed into law a measure on Monday that opponents called a “Don’t Say Gay” bill. which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender. Identity in kindergarten through third grade. The law has drawn intense national scrutiny from critics who argue that it marginalizes LGBTQ people. Republicans and advocates of the law argue that these topics should be discussed between parents and their children.
In the White House, “Danger!” Champion Amy Schneider, the first-ever openly transgender winner on the popular quiz show, will meet with second gentleman Doug Emhoff. Emhoff and Admiral Rachel Levine, assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health and Human Services, will host conversations with differently abled transgender children and their parents. Levine is the first openly transgender federal official to be ratified by the Senate.
In Florida, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will meet with LGBTQ+ students.
The White House said HHS would also be the first agency to fly the Trans Pride flag.
Associated Press writers Meg Kinard and Colleen Long and Ben Fox in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.