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ALGOP chair joins chorus criticizing alignment of Easter, transgender visibility day

The White House has rebuffed the characterization that Biden prioritized the Transgender Day of Visibility over Easter.

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Every March 31 for the past 15 years, the world has recognized March 31 as the “Transgender Day of Visibility.” This year, that day happened to align with Easter, which can fall any day between March 22 and April 25.

But when President Joe Biden proclaimed March 31 as “Transgender Day of Visibility” as he has done every year since he took office, numerous Republicans across the country criticized the proclamation as diminishing the Easter holiday.

ALGOP Chair John Wahl joined that chorus of criticism on Monday, stating that Biden “chose to prioritize Transgender Day of Visibility over Easter Sunday, laughing in the face of God and disrespecting the holiest of Christian holidays.”

The White House has rebuffed the characterization that Biden prioritized the Transgender Day of Visibility over Easter.

“As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to ABC News.

“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.”

Recent reports also blamed Biden on a ban on “religious symbols” at the White House Easter egg hunt, but the American Egg Board has since clarified that the policy has existed for years, including under Donald Trump.

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Wahl argues in his statement that American democracy is inextricably intertwined with the Christian faith.

“The United States of America is a nation founded on faith. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness come from our Creator,” Wahl said. “If we forsake that understanding, the next logical step is that we will lose those fundamental rights and freedoms that make us Americans.  

“The Alabama Republican Party calls on the Biden Administration to humble themselves and apologize to Christians across America for the disrespect shown to the Christian faith this Easter weekend.”

Wahl contrasted Biden’s proclamation against a statement that Trump released regarding Easter.

“We remember the suffering and death of God’s only son and His glorious resurrection… On Easter Sunday, we proclaim with joy, Christ is Risen,” Trump said.

But in addition to his annual proclamation of the Transgender Day of Visibility, Biden also issued a statement about the Easter holiday.

“Easter reminds us of the power of hope and the promise of Christ’s Resurrection,” Biden said. “As we gather with loved ones, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice. We pray for one another and cherish the blessing of the dawn of new possibilities. And with wars and conflict taking a toll on innocent lives around the world, we renew our commitment to work for peace, security, and dignity for all people.”

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The conservative pushback against Biden comes against a backdrop of anti-LGBTQ legislation across the nation and in the state of Alabama, especially when it comes to transgender individuals. 

Libraries across the state have come under fire for shelving LGBTQ books in children’s and young adult sections; a bill in the Legislature would prevent staff and students in K-12 schools from wearing of displaying pride flags in school; a recent bill targeting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs on college campuses also changed requirements on what bathrooms transgender people can use; and a bill currently in the Legislature would define gender based on sex assigned at birth.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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