On Saturday (June 10), President Joe Biden presided over the largest LGTBQ+ Pride celebration ever to be hosted at the White House.
While Biden used the event to emphasize his continued support for the passage of the controversial Equality Act, what more sharply raised the ire of many Christians online was an image of a Pride flag flying between two American flags on the Truman Balcony.
The Equality Act, which was first introduced in February 2021, seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. However, conservatives have argued that the act, as written, poses a grave danger to the religious liberty of churches and religious institutions that maintain a traditional view of marriage and sexuality.
The LGBTQ+ Pride event on Saturday was attended by more than a thousand guests and featured a number of high profile individuals from the LGBTQ+ community, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to hold a Cabinet position, and Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Admiral Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.
Survivors of the mass shootings at gay night clubs in Colorado Springs and Orlando were also invited.
In his address, Biden urged Congress to pass the Equality Act, saying, “When families across the country face excruciating decisions to relocate to a different state to protect their child from dangerous anti-LGTBQ laws, we have to act.”
“We need to push back against the hundreds of callous and cynical bills introduced in states targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors and nurses,” Biden continued. “These bills and laws attack the most basic values and freedoms we have as Americans.”
Later that evening, the president tweeted a picture from the White House, in which a Pride flag could be seen flying over the South Lawn.
“Today, the People’s House—your house—sends a clear message to the country and to the world,” Biden said. “America is a nation of pride.”
A number of Christian leaders responded to the tweet with frustration.