Biden says trans people ‘made in image of God’

PM Browne and transgender woman Sherese Bramble during carnival 2019/Facebook Photo

SOURCE NY POST: President Biden released a video message to mark International Transgender Day of Visibility on Thursday, saying that transgender people are “made in the image of God” and that their parents should affirm their gender identity.

Biden, who as a senator backed an array of anti-LGBT legislation, slammed what he called “hateful bills” in several states that restrict transgender participation in girls’ sports and limit discussion of sexuality and gender identity.

“To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know that your president sees you — Jill, Kamala, Doug, our entire administration sees you — for who you are: made an image of God and deserving of dignity, respect and support,” Biden said in a video message name-checking the first lady, vice president and second gentleman.

“We know it’s hard when there are those out there who don’t see you, don’t respect you,” the president added. “For example, the onslaught of anti-transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong.”

Those laws include Florida legislation that prohibits classroom instruction about sexuality and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and laws in states including Arizona and Oklahoma that restrict transgender girls and women from competing in female sports.

“This administration is standing up for you against all these hateful bills,” Biden said. “And we’re committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom, on the playing field, at work, in our military, and our housing and health care systems — everywhere, simply everywhere.”

He continued, “To parents of transgender children, affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy. Any transgender American who’s struggling, please know you’re not alone.”

The president ended the video by saying, “You’re so brave. You belong and we have your back.”

Biden has a mixed record on gay and transgender rights. As a senator in the 1990s, he was one of 32 Senate Democrats who voted to impose a federal ban on same-sex marriage. He also voted for the legislation that imposed the military’s since-repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and for a 1994 amendment to ban schools from using federal funds “for the promotion of homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.”

As vice president, Biden in 2012 said he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage — a remark widely seen as inspiring President Barack Obama to abandon his prior opposition to gays and lesbians marrying. Biden last year also repealed former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Gallup survey data released in February found that about 0.7% of Americans self-identify as transgender. About 1.5% are gay, 1% are lesbian and 4% said they are bisexual.

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