President Joe Biden on Friday held an LGBT Pride ceremony at the White House.

The ceremony included the president signing a bill that designates the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a national memorial.

Forty-nine people died and dozens more were injured when a lone gunman opened fire in the gay nightclub on June 12, 2016.

The nightclub never reopened and was turned into an interim memorial.

At the time, the massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It also renewed calls for stricter gun control laws.

In signing HR 49, Biden was surrounded by survivors of the shooting.

“We'll never fully recover, but we remember,” Biden said.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Biden's move.

“This is an important first step in honoring the unrealized lives of the victims,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “We are committed to a continued fight for adequate protections of LGBTQ people and urge Congress to pass common sense gun violence prevention measures to prevent future tragedies.”

Biden also announced the appointment of Jessica Stern as the State Department's U.S. special envoy on LGBT rights, a position that was left vacant by the Trump administration. Stern is the executive director of OutRight Action International, which advocates for LGBT rights around the world.

In his remarks, Biden repeated his call for passage of the Equality Act, an LGBT protections bill before the Senate. Biden has called passage a priority for his administration.

"When a same-sex couple can be married in the morning but denied a lease in the afternoon for being gay, something's still wrong," Biden said. "In over half of our states, LBGTQ+ Americans still lack explicit state-level civil rights protections to shield them from discrimination. As I said as a presidential candidate and in my first joint address to Congress, it's time for the United States Senate to pass the Equality Act and put the legislation on my desk. On my desk."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the nation's first openly gay member of a president's cabinet, gave remarks before the president was introduced by Ashton Mota, a 16-year-old transgender rights advocate.