Joe Biden appears to be gearing up for a one-on-one presidential election with Gov. Ron DeSantis with fresh attacks on Florida laws the president calls “sinful” against the LGBTQ community.
A clip from Monday’s episode of The Daily Show, offers a glimpse of Biden being interviewed by guest host Kal Penn at the White House. The actor/comedian, best known for his starring role in Harold & Kumar, came out as gay in November 2021 and revealed his engagement to partner Josh.
It’s also not his first time in the White House as Penn quit his acting career in 2009 to become 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.
During the session, Biden claims recent laws in Florida, many led by DeSantis, are ‘cruel’ and the clip features the president revealing his ‘epiphany’ moment in high school when he decided being gay was OK in his book.
“It’s just terrible what they’re doing,” Biden said in a preview clip with the actor who worked as the associate director of public engagement for President Barack Obama.
President Joe Biden told Daily Show guest host Kal Penn in a clip released Monday from a White House interview that Florida’s LGBTQ rights laws are “sinful” and “cruel”.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who could announce a presidential run any day, is leading a series of laws that would prevent minors from receiving transgender health care and surgeries.
Lawmakers in Florida, where the legislature is led by a Republican supermajority, introduced several bills this session that activists say will disenfranchise members of the LGBTQ community.
Opponents of the bill say the governor is using the pretense of education and parental rights to implement laws they deem anti-gay and anti-transgender.
A bill, for example, would ban transgender surgeries and health care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, for children who say they are of the opposite sex they were born into.
DeSantis released 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 consider a pre-presidential candidacy announcement trip across the states.
The book and the priorities of Florida’s current legislative sessions are widely seen as a platform on which DeSantis would campaign once he launches a 2024 bid for the GOP nomination.
The Parental Rights in Education Act, which the governor signed into law last year, has been dubbed by critics the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill – because it blocked educators from including in their school curriculum discussions about 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 I want to be a man, or I want to be a woman, or I want to change. I mean, what are they thinking? They are human beings. They like. They have feelings,’ Biden said when meeting with Penn.
“It’s cruel,” the president added of Florida’s laws targeting minors.
When Penn asked about the “evolution” of his views on marriage equality, the president said it dated back to when he was in high school.
Biden spoke with Kal Penn in an extensive interview for The Daily Show. Part of the clip released on Monday shows the pair discussing when Biden had the ‘epiphany’ in high school that gay marriage was OK
“I remember exactly when my reveal was,” Biden said before telling a story about his senior in high school when he saw “two well-dressed men in suits” kissing.
‘I will never forget, I turn around and look at my father. He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other,” he recalls.
“It’s as simple as that,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a gay or straight couple, you should be able to get married.” What is the problem?’
“Transgender kids are a really tougher thing,” Biden told Penn. “What’s happening in Florida is, as my mother would say, borderline sinful.”
While Biden says he came to accept same-sex marriage as a teenager, a 2006 video distributed during the 2020 presidential election shows then-Senator Biden speaking out against same-sex marriage.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman and states have to respect that,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press at the time as he defended the anti-gay Defending Marriage Act.
Biden, a longtime 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.