The Pride match to celebrate the LGBTQ community in Washington, DC, on Saturday, June 12 was joined by two special guests, Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff.
She was the first Vice President ever to make an appearance at the Capital Pride Walk in Washington DC, dressing in a pink blazer with a shirt that reads “love is love” beside her spouse who wore a T-shirt with the words “Love first” in multiple colors.
The pair made a surprise appearance at the Capital Pride rally for about a block. The VP delivered a brief speech on the Equality Act, which seeks to open more protections for LGBTQ people and ensure they receive fair treatment.
“We need to make sure that our transgender community and our youth are all protected. We need, still, protections around employment and housing,” Harris said during the parade according to CBS, “There is so much more work to do, and I know we are committed and we understand the importance of this movement and our roles of leadership in this on going movement.”
The legislation went through the House vote this February and is waiting for the Senate panel to be considered before becoming an official law.
Additional footage from social media also showed Harris waving along with the other march members and chanting “Happy Pride.”
At the beginning of this month, president Joe Biden also gave the LGBTQ parade a treat and issued an official proclamation recognizing Pride Month and declared his devotion to supporting the community.
“Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought—and continue to—for full equality,” said the statement released on June 1.
“This Pride Month, 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.”
The legislation was not welcome by everyone; however, conservatives argue that it would hinder religious freedom, which generally does not agree with same-sex marriage.
One of the bill’s opponents since its debut in 2019, Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, believed that it does not entirely serve the purpose of reducing discrimination as it seems.
“It protects the rights of one side, but attempts to destroy the rights of the other side,” he said according to npr.com. “We ought to protect the liberty of both sides to live their own lives by their own identities and their own values.”