Joe Biden reconfirmed his pledge to progress LGBTQ+ equality as soon as he’s elected into office.
In a virtual appearance at the Human Rights Campaign’s United for Equality Live event, Biden spoke about the motivation behind passing the Equality Act as well as his plans on advancing policies that make our lives, and the lives of other marginalized groups, better.
"America's at an inflection point," he said. "This election is going to determing our future for a very long time. We're facing multiple crisis — pandemic, recession, racial injustice, climate change, wildfires, assault on LGBTQ+ rights, a declining faith in a bright American future."
He continued, "What's the common thread? A president who makes things worse not better. Who brings chaos not order. Who sees violence and only fans the flames. The White House should never be a source of opposition or fear or oppression. It should be a source of hope, of moral courage and of unification.”
“You deserve a partner in the White House to fight with conviction and win the battles ahead,” he said. “Together we’ll pass the Equality Act, protect LGBTQ+ youth, expand access to health care, support LGBTQ+ workers, win full rights for transgender Americans, recommit to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025, advance LGBTQ+ rights around the globe, not just at home.”
Of course, the Equality Act, if passed, would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, the jury system, and other key areas of life.
Today, 29 states have not outlawed anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Americans report facing or having experienced discrimination in their personal lives, according to HRC.
Alternatively, Trump has continued to roll back protections for the LGBTQ+ community including banning trans people from serving the Military and appointing staff that continue to suppress queer visibility — like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, a Trump appointee, who this summer banned military bases around the world from displaying the rainbow flag publicly (the only exception was in individual dorms and rooms), likening it to the Confederate flag.
In adition, just two months after being sworn into office, Trump rescinded the transgender student guidance that Obama helped see through, thanks to trans plaintiff Gavin Grimm's case. The guidance required schools to protect transgender students from harassment, accommodate their preferred names and pronouns, while giving them access to bathrooms/locker rooms of their choice.
The Trump administration rolled back Obama's decision, determining that accesss to bathrooms ought to be left to the state and local school districts to decide. As a result, the Supreme Court took Grimm’s case off its calendar — though Grimm later won his case in a federal court.
Biden has vowed to pass the Equality Act in the first 100 days of office and to focus on LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness as well as violence against trans women of color.
“The White House should never be a source of opposition or fear or oppression,” Biden added in the video. “It should be a source of hope, of moral courage and of unification.”