At its core, the 2024 presidential election is an existential struggle for freedom, justice and equality in America. Emboldened by the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the assaults on freedom that ensued, right-wing extremists have taken aim at LGBTQ+ people across the country, ramming deeply unpopular bills through state legislatures that strip the community of basic rights and spewing anti-LGBTQ+ vitriol. The results have been catastrophic: health care ripped from thousands, books banned in droves, educators muzzled, curriculum propagandized, history whitewashed, transgender people banned from using public restrooms, and discrimination and violence rearing their ugly heads across America. This war on the very humanity of the community is what led the Human Rights Campaign to warn of a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people for the first time in our 43-year history. And it makes clear that we must re-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris next November.
“LGBTQ+ Americans are living in a state of emergency — experiencing unprecedented hostility and attacks from extremist politicians and their right-wing allies in states across the country, who are working tirelessly to demonize and erase us. What’s at stake in the 2024 presidential election for LGBTQ+ people is our humanity, our right to exist and our ability to live and raise our families in environments free from discrimination and fear.”
The current crop of GOP presidential candidates includes some of the most notorious anti-LGBTQ+ extremists like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — whose fledgling “war on woke” has obsessively targeted queer and trans young people with assaults like the so-called “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law, gender-affirming care bans and anti-LGBTQ+ book bans — and former President Donald Trump. The Trump administration, and the hate it emboldened across the country, was catastrophic for LGBTQ+ people, and the former president has promised escalated attacks on the community should he win. These candidates are already running the same racist, transphobic and homophobic playbooks many of them and their allies ran in the 2022 midterm elections.
During debates and on the trail, candidates have attacked and maligned transgender kids to score political points with the most extreme and radical portions of their base, while offering no solutions to fix real challenges facing students and families across the country.
This hateful rhetoric comes as LGBTQ+ people also face an onslaught of legislation aimed at erasing the community from society and demolishing basic rights. This year, over 570 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation moved through legislatures across the country, with 23 states enacting more than 80 new laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community. From one end of the nation to the other, LGBTQ+ people face imminent threats from right-wing politicians and their extremist allies, with many forced to flee their home states and seek refuge in other parts of the country.
With so much at stake, sending the Biden-Harris administration back to the Oval Office for a second term is imperative. In its first term, the administration has worked closely with HRC and other advocates to secure historic, landmark victories for LGBTQ+ Americans — initiating executive actions and rulemakings in a host of areas including federal employment protections for LGBTQ+ people, military service protections for transgender people, expanding mental health resources for LGBTQ+ youth, ensuring enforcement of LGBTQ+ students’ rights under Title IX, restoring non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in health care and ending the blanket ban on gay and bisexual blood donors, among others.
A majority of the pro-LGBTQ+ achievements of the Biden-Harris administration were among the more than 80 policy recommendations listed in HRC’s “Blueprint for Positive Change,” a groundbreaking document released in November 2020 that offered a roadmap toward equality for the then-incoming Biden administration. In December 2022, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act — landmark legislation that enshrined marriage protections for same-sex and interracial couples into federal law — and has appointed more openly LGBTQ+ judges, executive officials and ambassadors than any other administration prior.
The choice could not be more clear. As the future of America sits squarely in the crosshairs of a right-wing movement desperate for control over what we read, whom we love, and how we express ourselves, we must send our champions back to finish the job. As we did in the 2022 and 2020 elections, we will mobilize millions of Equality Voters to support President Biden and Vice President Harris —and send a message that we won’t hand over the keys to democracy to those who tirelessly attack and assault our freedoms, identities and bodies.
Equality is worth voting for. Freedom is worth voting for. Join us by pledging to help turn out your neighbors, family members, and friends next November. Learn more about our Pledge to Elect at hrc.im/andvote.