WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday condemned what it described as “hateful and dangerous” attacks on LGBTQ people, as Republicans in various U.S. states pursue laws targeting the community’s rights.
Speaking to reporters, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre pointed to Republican calls to ban gay marriage through legislation in Iowa and Tennessee, as well as moves to limit protections for same-sex couples in Florida.
“In Florida, just Florida alone, Republicans introduced 20 bills, 20 bills on a single day to roll back the rights of LGBT community,” Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing.
More than 450 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in U.S. states, said Jean-Pierre, who pointed to a proposed Florida bill that would give the state the right to separate transgender children from their parents.
Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration will continue to call out attacks on the LGBTQ community.
“Just think about a kid who’s sitting at home in this community, who’s listening and hearing elected officials talking about how they want to take away their rights, or how they want to even threaten their parents with felony charges for seeking healthcare for their children,” Jean-Pierre said.
Republicans in various states have pursued a wave of laws directed at LGBTQ people – limiting transgender participation in sports, access to gender-affirming medical care, and the teaching of subjects related to gender identity or sexual orientation.
Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation last month restricting drag performances in public or in front of children. West Virginia’s attorney general on Thursday said the state will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to allow enforcement of a law banning transgender athletes from female sports teams.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Jasper Ward; Editing by Sandra Maler)