Former Vice President Joe Biden, now surging in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after just released his plan for LGBTQ equality.
The Equality Act is a priority within the first 100 days as POTUS;
- reversing the transgender military ban as well as military policies that discriminate against people with HIV
- working to end suicide among LGBTQ young people
- end the misuse of religious exemptions to enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination
- address violence against LGBTQ people (especially affecting trans women of color)
The document starts,
“Joe Biden believes that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity and be able to live without fear no matter who they are or who they love.
During the Obama-Biden Administration, the United States made historic strides toward LGBTQ+ equality — from the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to Biden’s historic declaration in support of marriage equality on Meet the Press in 2012 to the unprecedented advancement of protections for LGBTQ+ Americans at the federal level.”
It notes efforts of Trump and Mike Pence to undo this progress
“by blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care, proposing policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, and failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of color.”
Biden promises to not only reinstate the pro-equality policies that he and Obama enacted but to expand them,
- pledging to update strategies to fight HIV
- working for a federal law classifying conversion therapy as consumer fraud
- improve hate-crime reporting & data collection
- assure that LGBTQ refugees and asylum-seekers have access to necessary services
- repealing Trump’s travel and refugee bans
- making sure that LGBTQ people have access to high-quality health care
- promoting a blood donation policy that reflects current science
- advancing LGBTQ rights around the world as part of a broad human rights agenda.
Biden has evolved on some of these issues over the years. In ’96, as a senator, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal government recognition to same-sex marriages until the Supreme Court struck down that provision in 2013. And he voted for DADT in the 1990s, when it was proposed as a compromise alternative to the outright ban on military service by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
Biden has since become an LGBTQ ally, performing same-sex marriages (while VP!) calling transgender rights the civil rights issue of our time, and promoting acceptance of LGBTQ youth through his foundation.
You can read the whole document on Biden’s website here.
(Photo, YouTube; via Advocate)