Kamala Harris made a record as the first sitting Vice President to march in Pride Parade.
Harris, 56, is an American politician, an attorney as well as the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president.
Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., on June 12, making history as the first sitting vice president to march in a Pride event.
The Vice President and her husband, second gentlemen Douglas Emhoff, surprised the crowd with an appearance at the Pride Event.
Harris and Emhoff walked and waved, wearing graphic T-shirts that read “Love is love” and “Love first” in a rainbow of colors.
Harris greeted those around her with declarations of “Happy Pride!”
While Harris and her husband were well received by the crowd, social media users are quick to notice the Secret Service agent who didn’t seem all too happy that the vice president had decided to join the Pride event.
“Secret service clearly not happy about protectee going for a walk,” Lawyer George Conway wrote on Twitter.
Others had a laugh at how the agents tried to blend in with the crowd wearing casual looks.
While LGBTQ+ discrimination has been increasing, with 2021 having the highest number of proposed anti-transgender bills ever recorded, the Biden-Harris administration has been open about its support for the community.
She spoke briefly at the event, advocating for the passage of the Equality Act while expressing her and President Joe Biden’s commitment to advancing LGBTQ rights.
“We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected,” Harris said, as per Washington Post. “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. Happy Pride Day!”
She highlighted the importance of passing the Democrats’ Equality Act, which would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, WRC-TV reported.
The Vice President also acknowledged the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on Twitter, paying tribute to the 49 people who were killed at the Orlando gay club on June 12, 2016.
“Five years ago, 49 LGBTQ+ people and allies were enjoying an evening out at Pulse Nightclub,” Harris wrote. “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.”
Harris also shared a video message on Twitter on June 13 with the caption: “LGBTQ Americans, I want you to know: We see you. We hear you. President Joe Biden and I will not rest until everyone has equal protection under the law. Happy #Pride.”
President Biden issues a separate statement, announcing that the nightclub will become a national memorial. He also advocated for stricter gun control, writing that gun violence has a “particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities”.
“We must create a world in which our LGBTQ+ young people are loved, accepted, and feel safe in living their truth,” Biden added. “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.”
The Biden-Harris administration has brought LGBTQ issues to the forefront of its agenda. One of the president’s first executive orders called for an end to discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Biden also reversed his predecessor’s ban on transgender people serving in the military and restored transgender health protections.
On June 1, President Joe Biden officially recognized June as Pride Month, saying he ”will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”