LGBTQ+ community rallies during Pride Month after new laws passed

White House announces LGBTQ+ protection efforts
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 9:56 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - President Joe Biden announced several actions aimed at protecting people in the LGBTQ community ahead of a Pride Celebration at the White House Thursday night.

This comes after several groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, issued travel warnings because of anti-LGBTQ laws passed in several states, including in Florida.

June is Pride month, and across the country, the LGBTQ+ community and allies mark the occasion with parades and celebrations dating back to the Stonewall Inn riots in the ‘60s.

But with 70 new laws in states nationwide, including in Florida, many feel there’s less to celebrate.

“It makes me feel like I don’t have a lot of places I can trust or a lot of faith. It makes me feel like people will feel more emboldened to attack queer and trans people,” said Delilah Pierre, Tallahassee Community Action Committee vice president.

The Florida Legislature passed several anti-LGBTQ laws this year, including expanding the ban on classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity to all grades K-12 and banning gender-affirming care in minors.

Some people who are gay and lesbian are leaving leave the state because of these laws. Pierre said she understands why.

“It is dangerous to live here and be here. I think especially for trans individuals but for everyone in general,” said Pierre.

For many members of the LGBTQ community across the state, this year’s Pride is about keeping the spirit of the original Pride month alive and protesting the decisions made at the Florida Capitol.

“A protest against government intimidation, a protest against police enforcement of gendered clothing laws,” said Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida.

Pierre is hoping that inspiration will spark change again.

“I want to see real resistance take place this month and I want to see real change take place this month,” said Pierre.

Several polls show public support for the rights of people who are gay and lesbian has expanded dramatically over the last two decades

In response to many of these laws, President Biden is directing the Department of Education to fight recent book bans.

There will also be new partnerships to help provide safety training and mental health care for transgender youth and initiatives to protect LGBTQ youth in foster care.