‘I Didn’t Do That’: Biden Responds to Criticism for Proclaiming Easter Sunday Transgender Visibility Day

‘I Didn’t Do That’: Biden Responds to Criticism for Proclaiming Easter Sunday Transgender Visibility Day

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden speak during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Emel Akan

Emel Akan

4/1/2024

Updated: 4/1/2024

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on April 1 pushed back against criticism of his proclamation on the weekend in support of transgender people, which coincided with Easter.
“I didn’t do that,” President Biden said in response to a question from the press about his issuing the proclamation.
When asked about House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) criticism of the proclamation, the president replied that “he’s thoroughly uninformed.”
The president’s responses came during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll he hosted along with First Lady Jill Biden on the South Lawn.
President Biden declared March 31, which fell on Easter Sunday, as “Transgender Day of Visibility,” sparking an uproar among Republicans and conservatives.
Mr. Johnson called it “outrageous,” while former President Donald Trump’s campaign demanded that President Biden apologize to millions of Christians in the United States.
“The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter—which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Johnson wrote on March 30 on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Banning sacred truth and tradition—while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as ‘Transgender Day’—is outrageous and abhorrent. The American people are taking note.”
President Biden said in the March 29 proclamation that his administration wanted to send a message that transgender people are part of American society.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2024, as Transgender Day of Visibility,” the president’s proclamation reads.
President Biden highlighted the appointment of transgender individuals in leadership positions within his administration, as well as the lifting of the ban that previously prevented them from openly serving in the military.
He also touted his administration’s efforts to make public services more accessible for transgender Americans, including making official documents such as passports more “inclusive” by including an X as the gender marker.
Karoline Leavitt, President Trump’s national press secretary, described the proclamation as “the Biden administration’s years-long assault on the Christian faith.”
“We call on Joe Biden’s failing campaign and White House to issue an apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America who believe tomorrow is for one celebration only—the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Ms. Leavitt said in a March 30 statement.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre slammed the criticisms, calling them “dishonest” and “hateful.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press conference at the White House on April 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press conference at the White House on April 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

“On March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility is marked. And as we know—for folks who understand the calendar and how it works—Easter falls on different Sundays every year. And this year, it happened to coincide with Transgender Visibility Day. And so that is the simple fact,” she said.
“As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American.
“President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.”
President Biden delivered brief remarks on April 1, welcoming guests to the South Lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. The tradition began in 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes invited children to the White House for Easter and egg rolling on the lawn.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden speak during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden speak during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

“You know, it began in 1878 because they wanted to have an Easter egg roll on the park grounds, but they weren’t allowed to do it. So, the president then said, ‘Let’s have it on the White House lawn.’ They couldn’t stop that. It’s been going on since then,” President Biden said in his remarks.
“Easter reminds us of the power of hope and renewal, sacrifice and resurrection, but mainly love and grace toward one another.”
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.
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Emel Akan

Emel Akan

Author

Emel Akan is a senior White House correspondent for The Epoch Times, where she covers the Biden administration. Prior to this role, she covered the economic policies of the Trump administration. Previously, she worked in the financial sector as an investment banker at JPMorgan. She graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.

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