Kamala Harris: First sitting VP to attend Pride March
Vice President Kamala Harris has become the first sitting vice president to attend a Pride March after making a surprise visit to the Capitol Pride Walk and Rally in Washington DC over the weekend.
During the march, she walked for a block and greeted cheering people on her route, “Happy Pride!” She was accompanied by the Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and a Secret Service Agent.
Harris and Emhoff wore t-shirts supportive of LGBTQ rights: Harris with the words “Love is Love,” Emhoff with the words “Love First” with the colors of the rainbow.
Kamala Harris’ appearance at the Pride March
At the event, Harris urged for the approval of the Equality Act. She also said she and President Joe Biden are determined to push forward LGBTQ rights.
“We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing,” Harris said.
She added, “There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed.”
Kamala Harris commemorates those who died at Pulse
On Twitter, the Vice President also observed the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting and paid tribute to the 49 people who were killed there on June 12, 2016.
“Five years ago, 49 LGBTQ+ people and allies were enjoying an evening out at Pulse Nightclub,” she tweeted.
“And then, in an instant, they were gone. Today, we remember those who died and their loved ones-and we recommit to building a world free from gun violence,” she said.
Joe Biden marks Pride Month with a statement
President Biden likewise made his own statement about the Pulse nightclub shooting, saying he’ll sign a legislation recently passed by the House and the Senate to name the nightclub a national memorial.
Further, he advocated for stricter gun control and the passage of the Equality Act.
Biden said: “In the memory of all of those lost at the Pulse nightclub five years ago, let us continue the work to be a nation at our best-one that recognizes and protects the dignity and safety of every American.”
Biden administration supportive of LGBTQ issues
At the start of their administration, Biden and Harris had made LGBTQ issues one of their priorities.
One of their first efforts was to restore transgender healthcare protections and remove then-President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military members.
Biden had also issued an executive order calling for an end to discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.