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Jill Biden makes appearance at Pride Festival

The First Lady made a stop after attending a fundraiser before a similar stop in Nashville.
Image by Photo by Alex Steil
The First Lady made a visit to the 2023 Twin Cities Pride Festival on Saturday. In the yellow is Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL).

First Lady Jill Biden made an appearance Saturday at this weekend’s Twin Cities Pride Festival, stopping after attending a political fundraiser.

Biden was greeted with cheers and hollers from attendees at the event, held in Loring Park, with someone shouting, “Thanks for everything.”

The event is an annual festival held in June, typically held at the end of Pride Month. This year’s event was a three-day celebration that included music and art from LGBTQ and BIPOC vendors and a parade on Sunday.

The festival also came at a time when LGBTQ legislation, particularly anti-trans legislation, is on the rise nationwide. During this legislative session, Minnesota opted to offer more protections for LGBTQ individuals, most notably becoming a trans refuge state in late April.

“In Minnesota, we have a lot to celebrate,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL), who introduced Biden. “But there is a lot more work that we need to do.”

A theme of Biden’s speech was encouraging visibility and support for the LGBTQ community.

“Today, I’m here on the behalf of Joe and Kamala and Doug to say loud and clear that you belong, that you are beautiful and that you are loved,” Biden said. “Joe stands with you now, and he stands with you forever.”

Biden traveled to Nashville later that same day. Tennessee passed a public drag show ban in March earlier this year, but a federal judge declared the law unconstitutional in early June.

“We know that there are those who wish to undo progress this community has made,” Biden said in similar speeches in both Nashville and Minneapolis.

As Biden left the stage, eventgoers started chanting, “Four more years!”

Biden’s fundraiser on a Lake Harriet home, hosted by major donors Jim and Mary Lawrence, touted her husband’s handling of events like the debt ceiling and COVID-19.

“We need to keep this momentum going,” Biden said at the fundraiser. “Tell them that Joe is ready to continue to work for the American people.”

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