Joe Biden appears to be gearing up for a head-to-head presidential election with Gov. Ron DeSantis with fresh attacks on Florida laws that the president says are “sinful” against the LGBTQ community.
A clip released from Monday’s episode of The Daily Show offers a sneak peek of Biden being interviewed by guest host Kal Penn at the White House.
The actor and comedian, known for his starring role in Harold & Kumar, took a break from acting in 2009 to work at the White House for more than two years as Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement under President Barack Obama. . He returned to acting in 2011 with the television series How I Met Your Mother.
Penn also came out as gay in November 2021, revealing his engagement to his long-time partner, Josh.
President Joe Biden told Daily Show guest host Kal Penn in a clip released Monday from a White House interview that Florida’s laws relating to LGBTQ rights are “sinful” and “cruel.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who could announce a run for president at any time, is spearheading a series of laws that would prevent minors from receiving transgender medical care and surgeries.
During the meeting, Biden claims that recent laws in Florida, many of which are spearheaded by DeSantis, are “cruel” and the clip shows the president revealing his “epiphany” moment in high school when he decided being gay was okay. in their life. book.
“It’s terrible what they’re doing,” Biden said in a preview clip.
Lawmakers in Florida, where a large Republican majority runs the legislature, introduced several bills this session that activists say will strip members of the LGBTQ community of their rights.
Opponents of the proposed legislation say the governor is using the pretext of education and parental rights to implement laws they say are anti-gay and anti-transgender.
One bill, for example, would ban transgender surgeries and medical care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, for children who claim to be the opposite sex from the one they were born with.
DeSantis published his memoir The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival last month and is currently on a book tour that many see as a pre-presidential announcement trip through the states.
The book and the priorities of Florida’s current legislative sessions are seen primarily as a platform on which DeSantis would run his campaign once he launched a 2024 bid for the Republican nomination.
The parental rights in education bill, which the governor signed into law last year, was dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill by critics because it prevented educators from including discussions of gender identity or sexual orientation. The law currently includes children in kindergarten through third grade, but the Florida legislature is now considering expanding it to include minors through eighth grade.
“It’s not like, you know, a kid wakes up one morning and says, ‘You know, I’ve decided that I want to become a man, or I want to become a woman, or I want to change.’ I mean, what are they thinking? They are human beings. They love. They have feelings, ”Biden said in his meeting with Penn.
“It’s cruel,” the president added about Florida laws targeting minors.
When Penn asked about the “evolution” of his perspective on marriage equality, the president said it went back to his time in high school.
Biden spoke with Kal Penn in a wide-ranging interview for The Daily Show. Part of the clip released Monday shows the two arguing when Biden had the ‘epiphany’ in high school that gay marriage was okay.
Kal Penn with his longtime partner, Josh. The comedian/actor came out as gay and got engaged in November 2021.
“I can remember exactly when my epiphany was,” Biden said before recounting a story about his senior year in high school when he saw “two well-dressed guys in suits” kissing.
‘I will never forget. I turned and looked at my dad. He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other, ”he recalled.
“It’s that simple,” he said. ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s a same-sex or straight couple, you should be able to get married. What is the problem?’
“Transgender kids are a really tough thing,” Biden told Penn. “What’s happening in Florida is, as my mother would say, almost sinful.”
While Biden says he accepted gay marriage as a teenager, a 2006 video circulated during the 2020 presidential election shows then-Sen. Biden speaking out against same-sex marriage.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman, and states must respect that,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press while defending the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act at the time.
Biden, a veteran senator from Delaware before becoming vice president and then president, voted against the federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, saying the measure was not worth Congress’s time.