ICYMI: First Lady Jill Biden Headlines Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Equality in Action’ Event

by Brandon Wolf

In address to HRC member-volunteers, staff, and board members, Dr. Jill Biden reiterates the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equality and underscores stakes of 2024 election

Arlington, VA — Just days after the launch of Out For Biden-Harris, the LGBTQ+ campaign initiative to engage and mobilize LGBTQ+ voters, communities and leaders to re-elect President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden delivered a passionate address to attendees at the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual “Equality in Action” event.

AP Images for Human Rights Campaign

The First Lady’s remarks underscored the urgency and stakes of the 2024 election, and praised HRC’s commitment to mobilizing and engaging Equality Voters, those for whom issues of LGBTQ+ equality are a top priority, across the country. In her address, she told the crowd of hundreds, "History teaches us that our rights and freedoms don't disappear overnight. They disappear slowly. Subtly. Silently. A book ban. A court decision. A 'Don't Say Gay' law. One group of people loses their rights and then another. And another. Until one day you wake up and no longer live in a democracy...This is our chapter of history and it's up to us how it ends."

As a lifelong educator, Dr. Biden has consistently championed making schools safer for students, including LGBTQ+ youth. She has spoken out vehemently against book bans, “the dangerous, cruel practice of conversion therapy,” and is committed to addressing youth homelessness, which disproportionately impacts LGBTQ+ young people. The Biden-Harris Administration has consistently fought to advance equality-focused legislation and LGBTQ+ rights. Since taking office, President Biden has lifted the blanket ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, began enforcing non-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ+ people, and signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law.

"Thanks to President Biden, marriage equality is now the law of the land,” said Biden. “He ended the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. He's made it possible for trans Americans to serve openly and honorably in our military. And he's standing firmly against conversion therapy.”

AP Images for Human Rights Campaign

The First Lady rounded out her remarks with a fiery rebuke of Donald Trump and the threat he poses to freedom – and a commitment to the fight for equality.

“Yes, there are forces outside these walls that are trying to erase these hard fought gains, trying to unwind all the progress that we've made. They want to take our victories away. But we won't let them. Your President will not let them -- I will not let them…Donald Trump is a bully. He is dangerous to the LGBTQ community. To our families. To our country. And we cannot let him win. We have to fight like hell. Today. Tomorrow. And all the days after. Until the polls close on November 5. Until Joe and Kamala have won another term. Until all the people in all places can live freely, surrounded by love."
AP Images for Human Rights Campaign

Equality in Action is HRC’s largest member-volunteer and board gathering of the year. During the three-day event, participants hear from speakers about the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, take part in learning and development opportunities, and network with other volunteer leaders from around the country. Attendees also take their voices to Capitol Hill, advocating for the passage of the Equality Act and urging federal lawmakers to stand up against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism taking place on the state level. On Thursday, over 200 attendees joined HRC for its federal Lobby Day.

The gathering of HRC’s member-volunteer leaders, staff, and board members comes just months before a presidential election that carries the starkest contrast for supporters of equality in modern history. The Biden-Harris administration, the most pro-equality in US history, has been committed to advancing LGBTQ+ equality and protecting against the right wing’s attacks on the community. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who led the most anti-LGBTQ+ administration in modern history, has promised to gut protections against discrimination and expand attacks on LGBTQ+ people should he be elected again. HRC’s Equality In Action event aims to equip its members, who are volunteers and community leaders, with the tools necessary to mobilize and energize millions of Equality Voters across the country ahead of November’s election.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org).

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


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