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White House doubles down on inclusiveness message amid backlash over Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter

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As President Biden faces heated backlash over marking March 31 as “Transgender Day of Visibility,” which falls on Easter Sunday this year, the White House has issued a response standing by the president’s remarks.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates released a statement saying those critical of Biden’s inclusiveness message are trying to further divide the country.

“As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American,” Bates said in a statement. “Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful and dishonest rhetoric. President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.”

While March 31 has been designated to honor the transgender movement internationally since 2009, this year it falls on Easter Sunday, one of the most important days for Christians celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

BIDEN SLAMMED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AFTER ANNOUNCING TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY ON EASTER SUNDAY

“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect Union — where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives,” a statement released by the White House Saturday said.

“Today, we send a message to all transgender Americans: You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You belong. You are America, and my entire Administration and I have your back,” it added. “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.”

President Joe Biden

After the announcement, prominent Christians, politicians and commenters on social media unleashed a firestorm of vitriol directed at Biden and his administration.

Former President Trump called for an immediate apology to millions of Christians and Catholics, and his national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, described Biden’s proclamation as an example of the Biden administration’s “years-long assault on the Christian faith.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., accused the Biden administration of betraying what Easter Sunday stands for after the White House also banned religious egg designs in its Easter Art Event, which, like the annual Easter Egg Roll, is part of the White House’s Easter traditions.

“The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter — which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Johnson posted on X. “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.”

Franklin Graham, a prominent Christian evangelist and son of the late Billy Graham, wrote that Biden and his administration have “little respect” for God.

“This once again shows how little respect President Biden and his administration have for God,” Graham wrote, in part. “On the most significant day of the Christian calendar, when the Church around the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ who died and shed His blood for the sins of mankind, the Biden administration uses this opportunity to flaunt sin, to glorify sin, and to celebrate sin.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves called Biden’s declaration a “shocking” and “intentional attempt” at insulting Christians across America.

BIDENS ANNOUNCE THEME FOR EASTER EGG ROLL ON WHITE HOUSE LAWN

“President Biden has declared that Easter Sunday is now Transgender Day,” Reeves wrote. “This is an intentional attempt to insult and mock Christians across America. Shocking — but not surprising. In Mississippi, we will proudly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sinners.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem echoed Tate’s sentiments, writing that the Biden White House is making it clear that people of faith “have no place in America.”

“Joe Biden and his White House have made it clear that people of faith, particularly Christians and our Bible-believing views, have no place in his America. We must change that on November 5 by electing @realdonaldtrump.”

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called Biden out in a post on X, writing, “Joe Biden just proclaimed that ‘Transgender Visibility Day’ is on Sunday, March 31st. I wonder how he came up with that date.”

Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, wrote on X that the “only thing you should be declaring on this day is ‘HE is Risen’.”

“I am absolutely disgusted that Joe Biden has declared the most Holy of Holy days – a self proclaimed devout Catholic – as Transgender Day of Visibility,” Jenner wrote. “The only thing you should be declaring on this day is ‘HE is Risen’.”

America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, released his own statement Sunday affirming “Transgender Day of Visibility” as a “celebration” of the “courage and resilience” of trans persons, though he noted it is “clear that there is still much work to do.”

Blinken speaking in Tokyo

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Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Haley Chi-Sing and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

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