In June, people across the world will once again celebrate Pride Month. Last year, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation stating that “we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.”
Later that month, Biden spoke at length about Pride Month from the East Room of the White House. At one point, he focused on transgender children, calling them “some of the bravest people in the world.” He denounced the rise of state anti-LGBTQ bills, which he condemned as “some of the ugliest, most un-American laws I’ve seen.” Biden received deserved applause for labeling them as “nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation.”
“Progress won’t come easily,” Biden warned. “It never has. But we’re going to stand strong, stand together. And I promise you, we will succeed. I promise you.” As we now approach a new Pride Month a year later, it is clear we have made more progress, and the most recent example arrives thanks an unlikely source.
On Friday, Judge Liles C. Burke, a federal judge, issued an order to temporarily block parts of an Alabama law that criminalizes giving puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors. The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which took effect on May 8, made it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to prescribe or administer gender-affirming medication to transgender minors.
Judge Burke pointed out “uncontradicted record evidence” that at least 22 U.S. medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning medications as “well-established, evidence-based treatments.” He also insisted that parents “have a fundamental right to direct the medical care of their children. This right includes the more specific right to treat their children with transitioning medications subject to medically accepted standards.”
Not only is Judge Burke’s decision welcome news ahead of Pride Month, but it comes from a judge who was put on the bench by none other than Donald Trump. The doors are always open for all who wish to join the effort to help keep America moving forward.