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Joe Biden: Ron DeSantis Going To Hell For Bullying Trans Kids (OK, It's *Implied*)
President Joe Biden sat down for an interview on "The Daily Show" last night, with Kal Penn, the actor/comedy guy and former Obama White House aide, to talk about climate change, the youth vote, student loan forgiveness, and the awful GOP attempts to attack LGBTQ+ folks for political gain. And while he stopped short of endorsing anyone to replace Trevor Noah as permanent host of the "Daily Show," Biden still made some news by saying he thinks Republican efforts to restrict the rights of trans people is "close to sinful," by which I think he meant "actually sinful."
Here's the full interview; the discussion of the appalling backlash against LGBTQ+ rights comes at 13: 40.
We'll mostly focus on that, although we'll note that, early on, when Penn asked what made it possible for the US to finally take serious action on climate (Hello Inflation Reduction Act! ), Biden didn't hesitate at all: "Young people. Young people." Because hell yes, they have been wonderfully noisy on that.
Biden's defense of the LGBTQ+ community was especially heartening, and let's also take a moment to remember that on marriage equality, Joe was actually well ahead of Barack Obama — thanks to his dad, a story he repeated during the interview with Penn.
Misty Water-Color Memories: The Time Young Handsome Joe Biden Fell In Love With Gay Marriage
Penn noted that he's been engaged to his boyfriend for five years, thanked Biden for signing into law the Respect for Marriage Act last year, and asked what Biden thinks about red state efforts to demonize trans kids — and what the federal government can do to protect LGBTQ+ rights in this dangerous environment.
Biden recalled when he was a senior in high school; one day when his dad drove him to pick up a job application, he saw two "well-dressed men in suits" kiss each other. He turned to his dad, who said, "Joey, it's simple. They love each other." And now we are definitely not crying , again, just like we didn't cry at his longer version of the story in 2015.
Biden also recalled his Meet the Press interview in 2012 when he said that of course people should be able to marry whomever they love (assuming it's not a 1971 Renault 4), when he said it's really "a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love?"
Coming back to today, Biden added, "So what is the problem?"
Then he moved on to the attempts by red states (he named Florida, but as synecdoche for the whole mess) to erase trans people and ban gender-affirming medical care for trans youth:
What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful. I mean, it’s just terrible what they’re doing. 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.
Biden added that the best approach to protect trans kids would be to "pass legislation like we passed on same-sex marriage. You mess with that, you’re breaking the law, and you’re going to be held accountable."
Also too, Biden touched on comments Penn had made earlier when mentioning his family has been very frustrated by that five-year engagement: "Listen to your auntie and your uncle! Get married. Do it now. Don’t wait!"
Sounded like an executive order to us.
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