When marchers took to the streets of Washington D.C. on Saturday, June 12, they had no idea they would be joined by Kamala Harris, who showed up unannounced and took part in the Pride March. Showing her support, Harris joined the march in solidarity with LGBTQ+ rights and marched for about a block with her husband, Doug Emhoff. Harris had given no prior notice before showing up at the event and has claimed another “first” in history by being the first sitting Vice President of the US to march in a Pride Event.
As she proudly wore a shirt that declared, “love is love,” Harris also briefly addressed the crowd and said, “Happy Pride.” Calling for the passing of the Equality Act, Harris said at the event: “We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing. There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed.” On June 13, Harris also put up a message on Twitter to pay tribute to those who lost their lives five years ago during the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
During her days as the State Attorney General, Harris had officiated the wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier in the presence of hundreds of supporters in 2013. Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were part of the US Supreme Court case that overturned the ban on same-sex marriage in California. “Through the ups and downs, the struggles and the triumphs, they came out victorious,” Harris said back then.
With the month of June being celebrated as Pride Month, Harris put out a video on Twitter where she recalled the wedding she officiated several years ago and acknowledged that there is still work to be done.
On June 1st 2021, the White House also issued a statement to celebrate “the historic progress made towards LGBTQ+ equality since President Biden took office.” “After four years of relentless attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to accelerate the march toward full LGBTQ+ equality,” the statement said.
“From protecting the civil rights of every LGBTQ+ American, enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, ensuring that LGBTQ+ Americans are leaders at every level of the federal government, to protecting and defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons around the world, the Biden-Harris Administration is a consistent and reliable partner in the fight for equality at home and abroad.”
The statement added: “The Biden-Harris Administration reaffirms that no one should face discrimination or harassment because of who they are or whom they love. As President Biden said during his first joint address to Congress, the President has the back of LGBTQ+ people across the country and will continue fighting for full equality for every American – including through continuing to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act and provide overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ people and families across the country.”