President Joe Biden has slammed “cruel” Republican efforts to roll back LGBTQ+ rights across the US, describing them as “close to sinful”.
Discussing the legislation during an interview with The Daily Show’s Kal Penn, the 80-year-old directly referenced Florida’s numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
“What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful,” he said. “It’s just terrible what they’re doing.”
He continued: “It’s not like a kid wakes up one morning and says, ‘You know, I decided I want to become a man or I want to become a woman or I want to change’. I mean, what are they thinking about here? They are human beings. They love. They have feelings. They have inclinations that are …it just to me, is, I don’t know is, it’s cruel.”
Governor Ron DeSantis has backed an array of policies restricting LGBTQ+ rights, including putting his support behind a state-wide ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth and signing the state’s infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law.
Biden explained that an appropriate response to these bills would be for Congress to pass legislation similar to last year’s federal recognition of same-sex marriage rights.
“You mess with that, you’re breaking the law, and you’re going to be held accountable,” he added.
What is Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?
‘Don’t Say Gay’ was signed into law in Florida in March 2022 and restricts “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
New research from the UCLA School of Law confirmed that the legislation has already had an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the state.
The data, which was released in January 2023, found that 17 per cent of LGBTQ+ parents had already taken the necessary actions to move elsewhere.
Almost nine out of 10 also express concern over the effects the legislation could have on their family.