Jill Biden blasts Donald Trump as  ‘dangerous’ in surprise appearance at Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Pride fest

Author: Christopher Wiggins

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden made a surprise appearance in battleground state Pennsylvania

The festivities began with a parade that traveled through downtown and over the Andy Warhol Bridge, culminating at Allegheny Commons Park on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Biden arrived at the park with cheers and applause from the crowd. Biden spent time mingling with attendees, shaking hands, and taking pictures.

Related: President Joe Biden calls on LGBTQ+ community ‘to wave their flags of pride high’ this June

In her remarks, Biden highlighted the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community while also addressing the challenges that remain.

“I see such joy and beauty and boldness in your faces, and I love it,” she said. “Every year during June, we gather in communities across this country to celebrate how far we’ve come, to reflect on the bravery required to live an authentic life, and to honor the courage it takes to stand up for what’s right.”

“It shouldn’t take courage to go to school and walk down the halls as the person you know you are, to take someone’s hand on the bus, to kiss them goodbye on the sidewalk,” Biden said. “But in too many places, it still does.”

The crowd was mostly supportive of the first lady and her message. Her speech was frequently interrupted by applause and cheers from the crowd. At one point, chants of “four more years” broke out, showing support for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign from those who had gathered for the Pride event. Simultaneously, however, some attendees shouted “free Palestine” in protest of the Biden administration’s position on the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Biden took the opportunity to speak out against recent legislative efforts aimed at curtailing LGBTQ+ rights.

“This community is under attack,” she said. “Rights are being stripped away; freedoms are eroding. We must fight these measures with everything we have.”

Biden’s visit to the Pride festival is one example of the administration’s attempt to galvanize LGBTQ+ voters. She warned against complacency and the gradual erosion of rights.

“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 its rights, and then another, and then another, until one morning you wake up and you no longer live in a democracy,” Biden cautioned.

Biden did not hesitate to address the political stakes for LGBTQ+ people this election year.

“Donald Trump is a bully,” Biden said bluntly. “He’s dangerous to the LGBTQ+ community, to our families, to our country, and we cannot let him win. We have to meet this moment as if our fundamental rights are at stake because they are. We have to meet this moment as if our democracy is on the line because it is.”

Earlier in the day, Biden made another stop, this time to address the graduates of Erie County Community College. There, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her contributions to education and public service.

Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato greeted Biden on the tarmac at Pittsburgh International Airport’s 911th Airlift Wing of the U.S. Air Force.

Innamorato told The Advocate she was excited to greet the first lady and joked that she had struggled to decide what to wear given the significance of the first lady’s visit during Pride. “I considered wearing body glitter,” she joked.

Overall, Biden’s speech in Pittsburgh at the Pride event was a rallying cry for action and solidarity.

“This is a chapter in history, and it’s up to us to see how it ends,” she urged. “We have to meet this moment as if our fundamental rights are at stake because they are. We have to fight like hell and win.”

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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