Pulse Nightclub is now officially a national memorial.
Earlier this afternoon, President Biden signed H.R. 49, a bill designating the nightclub — site of the 2016 massacre that claimed 49 lives — as a national memorial. Both the House and Senate voted to pass the legislation earlier this spring.
“A place of acceptance and joy became a place of unspeakable pain and loss,” Biden said before signing the bill into law, surrounded by survivors of the massacre and video images of those lost. “We’ll never fully recover, but we’ll remember.”
After signing the bill, the President delivered remarks for Pride Month from the East Room, where he was accompanied by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ Cabinet member, and Ashton Mota, a 16-year-old trans activist from Lowell, Massachusetts. “Pride is back at the White House,” the President declared, before speaking out for the need to protect LGBTQ+ individuals — especially transgender individuals — from discrimination. He also repeated his calls for the Senate to pass the Equality Act.
Earlier today, President Biden named OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern to be the next U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the State Department.