Kamala Harris delivers rallying cry for trans rights after becoming first sitting vice-president to march at Pride

LGBTQ

Kamala Harris speaks to marchers, as her husband Doug Emhoff looks on, during the Capitol Pride Parade on June 12, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty)

Kamala Harris delivered a rallying cry for trans and queer rights after becoming the first sitting vice-president to march at a Pride event.

Harris marched at Capitol Pride in Washington DC on Saturday (12 June) alongside her husband Doug Emhoff. She sported a t-shirt bearing the slogan “love is love” while Emhoff wore a top with the message “love first” in the rainbow colours.

Kamala Harris and her husband walked with Pride-goers to the Freedom Plaza in Washington DC, wishing queer people a “happy Pride” along the way.

After the march, Harris addressed the crowd and reaffirmed her commitment to protecting LGBT+ rights.

“There’s so much more to do,” Harris told the gathered crowd.

“We celebrate all of the accomplishments – finally marriage is the law of the land. Now we need to pass the Equality Act, we need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected.”

She continued: “We need, still, protections around employment and housing – there is so much more work to do and I know we are committed and we understand the importance of this movement and our roles of leadership in this ongoing movement.”

Harris wished Washington DC residents a happy Pride once more before getting into a waiting car and leaving the event.

Kamala Harris paid tribute to the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting

The Capitol Pride march coincided this year with the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were shot dead in a gay club in Orlando, Florida. It remains the deadliest attack on the LGBT+ community in the history of the United States.

Harris marked the anniversary by paying tribute to those who died on social media on Saturday (12 June).

“Five years ago, 49 LGBTQ+ people and allies were enjoying an evening out at Pulse nightclub. 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.”

Earlier this month, Joe Biden recognised Pride Month and addressed the epidemic of violence against trans people – particularly trans women of colour – in a formal proclamation.

In March, Biden became the first sitting president to mark International Trans Day of Visibility. He used the opportunity to call on Americans to “join in the fight for all transgender people”.

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