President Joe Biden has said that legislation introduced in Florida that prohibits altering the bodies of transgender minors is “close to sinful.”
A new bill introduced in Florida would prohibit puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgeries to treat minors who say they identify as transgender.
Speaking to Daily Show guest host Kal Penn, an actor turned political operative, Biden said of the Florida legislation that it’s “just terrible what they’re doing.”
Biden was then asked about his “evolution” on gay marriage and what can be done on a federal level “to protect LGBTQ Americans, especially trans kids who are dealing with all these regressive state laws right now.”
“I can remember exactly when my epiphany was,” Biden said before discussing seeing two men kissing in suits while he was in high school.
“I’ll never forget, I turn and looked at my dad. He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other,'” Biden recalled. “It’s just that simple. It doesn’t matter whether it’s same-sex or a heterosexual couple, you should be able to be married. What is the problem?”
Biden then addressed the legislation in Florida.
“Transgender kids is a really harder thing,” Biden continued. “What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful.”
The president added, “It’s not like, you know, 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? They’re human beings. They love. They have feelings.”
Biden said that legislation to stop the hormones and surgeries that could permanently sterilize them is “cruel.”
“And the way we do it is we make sure we 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,” Biden said.
The White House also condemned legislation aimed at the LGBT community on Friday.
“In Florida, just Florida alone, Republicans introduced 20 bills, 20 bills on a single day to roll back the rights of LGBT community,” Jean-Pierre said at Friday’s press briefing. “Just think about a kid who’s sitting at home in this community, who’s listening and hearing elected officials talking about how they want to take away their rights, or how they want to even threaten their parents with felony charges for seeking healthcare for their children.”