Three years ago, Trump tweeted that transgender patriots were no longer allowed to serve in the military. Since then, and before, he and his administration have taken every opportunity to attack us and dehumanize our community and identity. Under a Biden presidency, not only will we finally have an ally, but we will have a true advocate in the White House dedicated to improving our lives and undoing the attacks of Trump, Pence and their allies. Here are some of Trump’s attacks, and Biden’s record and plans to undo Trump’s attacks:
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TRUMP & PENCE ATTACKING LGBTQ PEOPLE
BIDEN UPLIFTING LGBTQ PEOPLE
TRUMP & PENCE ATTACKING LGBTQ PEOPLE
In the Workplace
- Opposition to the Equality Act: Despite support from almost every segment of the U.S. population and a majority of Republicans, President Trump opposes the Equality Act. In May 2019, the House passed the Equality Act, voting to guarantee critical non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people among other crucial rights.
- Supported employment discrimination against LGBTQ people: The Trump administration submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people.
- Banned transgender service members from the military: Against the expert advice of military leadership, medical authorities, budget analysts, 70% of Americans and the armed forces of allied countries, Trump and Pence banned transgender people from serving in the military.
- Rolled back Obama-era non-discrimination protections: Trump’s Department of Justice upended previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act that protect transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination and ceased enforcing non-discrimination protections as well as taking a hostile stance to LGBTQ workers in court.
- Issued rule to license discrimination: Trump’s Department of Labor issued a regulation designed to allow federal contractors to claim a religious exemption to fire LGBTQ workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Kicked people living with HIV out of the military because of their status: The Department of Defense instituted a “Deploy or Get Out” policy, which would remove military personnel living with HIV from service solely because of their status.
- Created a hostile work environment for LGBTQ federal employees: According to Politico: “[The Trump administration] fostered a climate where six staffers who are LGBT described removing their wedding rings before coming to work in the morning, taking down photos of their partners and families or ultimately finding new jobs further away from certain political appointees. They did not want to be identified; two said they feared being reassigned for being gay.”
In Health Care
- Undermine Section 1557 of the ACA: HHS published a major change to the administrative rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities, undermining protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
- Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act: The Justice Department issued a legal filing arguing that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. This move would have jeopardized health care for over 130 million people with preexisting conditions like HIV and eliminate non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
- Created a Religious Discrimination Division: HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, including to LGBTQ patients.
- Proposed cutting over $1.35 billion from PEPFAR budget: In his proposed FY 2019 budget, Trump cut $1.35 billion from or 29% of PEPFAR’s budget. PEPFAR is the U.S. government program that fights AIDS abroad.
- Issued a “conscience rule”: Trump's HHS Department issued rules designed to allow health care providers to refuse to treat a patient on religious or moral grounds, significantly impacting LGBTQ people who still deal with widespread discrimination in health care.
- Fired the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council: Trump fired the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS after half a dozen members resigned in protest to the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine LGBTQ people’s access to health care.
- Guidance for Schools on Transgender Students: The Departments of Education and Justice eliminated Obama-era guidance clarifying that schools must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity. This encourages school officials to permit harassment of transgender students, deny access to facilities consistent with gender identity, and refuse to use correct names and pronouns -- all inflicting untold emotional harm.
- Rejected Complaints From Transgender Students: The Department of Education refused to respond to civil complaints filed by transgender students, including those who were barred from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This increases the burden for transgender students to combat these harmful policies.
- Allowed certain schools to ignore nondiscrimination standards: In 2019, the Department of Education published final regulations permitting religious schools to ignore nondiscrimination standards set by accrediting agencies.
- Suggested it is acceptable for schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students while accepting tax-payer funds: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has refused to rule out federal funding for schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students and has declined to state she would otherwise intervene should discrimination occur.
- Sexual Assault: DeVos rescinded Title IX rules related to schools’ obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence. By eliminating the Obama-era rules, DeVos increased the standard of proof from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence” making it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to obtain justice. LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by sexual assault and harassment, and the stigma that many LGBTQ people face can make it more difficult for survivors to report.
- Eliminated language protecting LGBTQ children participating in the 4-H program: The Trump-Pence Administration ordered 4-H programs to remove a policy specifically welcoming LGBTQ children in the 4-H program, which led to the firing of an official who protested.
- Used Title IX to discriminate against trans students: the Department of Education claimed that school policies allowing trans youth to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity violated federal law and threatened to withhold funds.
In Housing, Government Services and Public Accommodations
- Allowed emergency shelters to deny access to transgender and gender-nonconforming people: Despite the fact that LGBTQ people are significantly more likely to experience homelessness in their lives, HUD Secretary Ben Carson plans to propose a rule to permit emergency shelters to deny access or otherwise discriminate against transgender and gender-nonconforming people who are homeless. HUD also canceled a scheduled survey on LGBTQ homelessness.
- Plans a transphobic and Bigoted “guide to identifying a transgender person”: As part of their guidance to allow homeless shelters to discriminate against transgender shelter seekers, the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to encourage using physical characteristics to discriminate against transgender people at homeless shelters.
- Placed transgender incarcerated persons in the wrong prison: The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rolled back an Obama-era policy that housed transgender prisoners consistent with their gender identity. With transgender people experiencing sexual assault at higher rates than average, this decision only puts them at further risk of assault.
- Created a Religious Liberty Task Force: The Trump-DOJ created a religious liberty task force to help implement an executive order designed to allow religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ people in almost every facet of their lives.
- Dropped a lawsuit suing North Carolina over their discriminatory “bathroom bill”: Within his first 100 days, the Trump-Justice Department dropped an Obama-era lawsuit suing the state of North Carolina for their discriminatory “bathroom bill” known locally as HB2.
- Argued on behalf of a business that refused service to LGBTQ customers: The Trump-Justice Department filed an amicus brief supporting the case of Colorado bakery that refused to sell a wedding cake to an LGBTQ couple in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado.
- Canceled plans for a survey on LGBTQ homelessness: Trump’s HUD Department canceled plans in early 2017 to conduct a survey evaluating the prevalence of LGBTQ homelessness. Homelessness is especially a problem for LGBTQ youth, given that many are kicked out of their homes after their parents become aware of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
In Children and Families
- Allowed foster care programs to discriminate while accepting tax-payer funds: Trump-Pence White House has proposed a federal regulation that would strip away nondiscrimination requirements and permit a range of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant recipients, notably adoption and foster care agencies, to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and in many circumstances religious minorities and women, and still receive federal funding.
- Refused visas to partners of diplomats: The State Department began refusing visas for same-sex partners of some diplomats and U.N. workers if they are not married.
- Changed rules to deny surrogate born children citizenship: The Trump Administration has interpreted immigration rules specifically so the child of a same-sex couple born abroad via surrogate would be considered "born out of wedlock" and making it more difficult to obtain U.S. citizenship.
- Rescinded DACA for 81,000 LGBTQ Dreamers: Trump rescinded DACA, though the program still lives on despite his best efforts. According to the Williams Institute, 81,000 Dreamers identify as LGBTQ.
- Nominated anti-LGBTQ judges: Trump has appointed anti-LGBTQ judges with alarming anti-LGBTQ records at every level of the judicial system, including anti-equality Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and many others to lower courts, including Kacsmaryk, Mateer, Bounds, Vitter, Menashi and others.
- Eliminated the State Department Envoy for LGBTQ Rights: The department quietly eliminated the position of special envoy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in 2019.
- Erased transgender people: Trump’s HHS proposed a new definition that would narrowly define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by birth. According to the New York Times: “The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million [transgender] Americans.” In addition, agency staff, including those at the Centers for Disease Control, have been instructed to stop using the word transgender in official reports.
- Eliminated information on LGBTQ rights, mentions, and representation on government websites: Within hours of Trump’s swearing-in, pages on LGBTQ rights and recognition were removed from government websites, including the White House.
- Instructed the CDC to cease using the word transgender: The Trump administration in 2017 created a list of banned words for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that included the word transgender among others like diversity, and science-based.
- Blocked questions regarding sexual orientation from consideration for the census: Trump and Pence blocked a question on sexual orientation from the census. This would, in turn, prevent the collection of crucial data that could help improve government programs and resources for LGBTQ people.
- Refused to recognize LGBTQ people in National AIDS day Address: Despite being one of the communities most affected by the epidemic, Vice President Pence has consistently refused to acknowledge LGBTQ people in his addresses on National AIDS day.
- Refused to recognize the ongoing epidemic of violence against black transgender women: Trump has failed to even acknowledge the ongoing epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, particularly black transgender of women. So far in 2020, 21 transgender and gender non-conforming people have lost their lives.
- Trump gave unprecedented White House access to anti-LGBTQ Evangelical Advisory Board: Trump created and has given unprecedented power and access to an Evangelical Advisory Board almost every member of which has a long history of anti-LGBTQ comments.
- Joked about Pence’s desire to hang LGBTQ people: In 2017, Trump joked about Vice President Pence’s anti-gay agenda saying “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
- Jeff Sessions: The Trump-Pence administration appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Even before he joined the administration and committed numerous anti-LGBTQ actions, Sessions had a long history of anti-LGBTQ actions. Sessions repeatedly supported laws that criminalized LGBTQ activity.
- Sam Clovis: The Trump-Pence administration appointed Sam Clovis to be Chief Scientist at USDA despite a lack of scientific background and previous comments where he said marriage equality would lead to the legalization of pedophilia. He also claimed LGBTQ identity was a choice - contradicting verified science.
- Mark Green: Nominated Green to succeed openly-gay Army Secretary Eric Fanning. While a State Senator in Tennessee, Green made a series of horrific and discriminatory actions against LGBTQ people. He argued Tennessee ought to defy the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges which granted marriage equality. He sponsored legislation that would have allowed discrimination against transgender people and argued against non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Tennesseeans
In the World
- Refusing LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing violence: Trump issued an executive order to create further obstacles for all people seeking to enter the U.S., preventing refugees from escaping some of the most anti-LGBTQ regimes in the world.
- Embassy Pride Flags: Pence defended the State Department directive to ban U.S. embassies across the world from flying the LGBTQ Pride Flag during Pride Month.
- Invited the Polish President to the White House: Trump invited Polish President Duda to the White House for an official visit. Duda and his ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have pledged to ban marriage equality, prevent same-sex couples from adopting children, and ban education on LGBTQ issues. They have also been silent while so-called “LGBT-free zones” have been declared in cities and regions all across Poland.
- Left the U.N. Human Rights Council: Trump and Pence, over LGBTQ and other issues, removed the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
- Created a “Commission on Unalienable Rights”: The Trump State Department created a Commission on Unalienable Rights centered on how “human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” The Commission on Unalienable Rights was designed to challenge the international consensus with a narrow view of human rights, that among other things would leave LGBTQ people even more vulnerable to violence and discrimination.
- Brunei: The Trump-Pence administration has refused to condemn a Brunei law that imposes barbaric punishments on LGBTQ people, including death by stoning, torture and whipping.
BIDEN UPLIFTING LGBTQ PEOPLE
In the Workplace
- Passing the Equality Act: Joe Biden has committed to passing the Equality Act, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
- Promised to expand opportunities for transgender and gender non-conforming people: As part of his LGBTQ plan, Biden has promised to provide funding for workforce and entrepreneurial training programs for the LGBTQ community including programs that specifically help prepare transgender and gender non-conforming people for the workforce and encourage entrepreneurship.
- Promised to Reaffirm Civil Rights Act protections for LGBTQ people: Even before the Supreme Courts’ historic decision affirming LGBTQ protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Biden promised to reaffirm that interpretation of law and reverse contrary DOJ interpretations.
- Praised the Supreme Court Decision affirming LGBTQ protections with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: The day the Court made their historic decision, Biden praised it in a Medium post.
- Repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: In 2010, the Obama-Biden administration led the charge to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and expand LGBTQ inclusion in the military.
- Lifted the ban on transgender troops: Prior to Trump’s issuance of the ban yet again, the Obama Biden Department of Defense was able to reverse an internal ban on openly transgender service members.
- Promises to reverse the Trump “Trans Military Ban”: Biden has committed to reversing Trump’s transgender military ban and directing the Department of Defense to allow transgender service members to serve openly.
- Reverse Trump’s “Deploy or Get Out” Policy: Biden has committed to reversing Trump's policy to forcibly discharge members of the military who live with HIV.
- Review Discharges based in anti-LGBTQ bias: Biden has committed to reviewing LGBTQ veterans discharged due to their LGBTQ identity have the opportunity to have their discharges reviewed and possibly reversed.
In Health Care
- Promised to overturn Trump’s decimation of the ACA Section 1557 regulation: Biden has committed to restoring the regulation implementing section 1557 of the ACA to ensure protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination by health care and insurance providers. The Trump-Pence administration has radically revised the rule, encouraging health care providers to refuse service and discriminate against LGBTQ patients.
- Promised to ensure HIV medication and testing is covered by health insurance: Biden has dedicated his administration to fighting price gouging for HIV prevention medication like PrEP and treatments like PEP. He has also committed to federal health plans to provide coverage for these life-saving medications.
- Committed to update and implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy: Biden has committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025 and will update the nation’s comprehensive strategy to aggressively reduce new HIV cases and increasing access to treatment.
- Fight for truly science-based FDA blood donor regulations: Biden has committed to working with the FDA to implement blood donor rules that are based in science and risk factors rather than identity.
- Restore funding to Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood provides critical health care to millions of LGBTQ people across the country. Biden has committed to protecting Planned Parenthood and restoring funding to the critical health care they provide.
- Reinstate guidance protecting transgender and gender non-conforming students: Biden has committed to restoring Obama-Biden era guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence Administration, which will restore transgender and gender non-conforming students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
- Enact the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act: As President, Biden will enact these pieces of legislation which will establish grant programs to support campus anti-harassment programs and require school districts to develop bullying and harassment policies.
- Promised to address disproportionate school discipline on LGBTQ students, students of color and students with disabilities: Biden has committed to expanding the Obama-Biden Administration’s work to address the disproportionate impact of school discipline on girls of color to include LGBTQ+ students, all students of color, and students with disabilities.
In Housing, Government Services and Public Accommodations
- Promised to Reverse Trump-Pence Rule Giving Businesses a License to Discriminate: Biden will reverse Trump-Pence policies allowing for small businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.
- Promised to ensure federally funded shelters cannot discriminate against transgender homeless: Biden has committed to undoing the Trump-Pence administration rule to allow shelters to refuse service to transgender homeless or force them to sleep with and use the bathrooms opposite to their gender identity.
- Increase safety for incarcerated transgender people: Biden will require that transgender people are placed in correctional facilities in alignment with their gender identity and have full access to appropriate doctors and medical care. He will also require the Bureau of Prisons to revise the Transgender Offender Manuel to allow for protections for transgender people who are incarcerated and implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
In Children and Families
- Banning “conversion therapy”: Biden has committed to banning so-called “conversion therapy” a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.
- Reverse the Trump-Pence Administration rule allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ families: In 2019, the Trump-Pence administration proposed a rule that would allow federal funding to adoption and foster care agencies discriminating against potential LGBTQ parents and foster care providers solely because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. As President, Biden would repeal that rule.
- Clarified FMLA Definitions: The Obama-Biden DOL clarified the Family and Medical Leave Act to ensure that LGBTQ parents could care for their children in the event of illness regardless of their biological relationship.
- Increase funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act: As President Biden will increase funding for the RHYA to ensure LGBTQ+ individuals have access to transitional living programs that provide essential services like job counseling and mental and physical health care.
- Launched a Biden Foundation Initiative Supporting LGBTQ Youth: In 2018, the Biden Foundation launched the “As You Are Initiative” to highlight the harm family rejection causes LGBTQ youth.
- Expand the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act: Biden has committed to work to expand the FVPSA reauthorization to include sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections as well as seek permanent funding for the National LGBTQ Institute on IPV to prevent and address LGBTQ+ intimate partner violence.
- Promised to reduce LGBTQ youth incarceration: Biden has committed to a $1 billion per year juvenile justice program and required states who receive funding to have LGBTQ people at the table.
- Protect LGBTQ Dreamers: Biden has committed to protecting the approximately 81,000 LGBTQ dreamers from deportation.
- Voted Against a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality: In 2006, Biden voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
- Nominating Pro-Equality Justices: Joe Biden has committed to nominating and appointing LGBTQ federal officials and judges who will protect LGBTQ rights, not dismantle them.
- Ensure transgender and gender non-conforming identification documents: Biden has committed to updating gender change policies to allow all transgender and gender non conforming people to have access to identification that accurately reflects their gender identity.
- Count LGBTQ people in federal data collection: Biden has committed to ensuring federal agencies include LGBTQ people in data collection including the Census, American Community Survey and other important data to ensure issues within the LGBTQ community are identified and addressed.
- Championed bills to include data collection and harsher penalties for crimes based on sexual orientation: While in Congress, Biden championed over a dozen bills that focused on hate crimes prevention efforts including legislation in 1989 that would have required the federal government begin collecting data around hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
- Biden endorsed gender neutral markers for voter registration: "Biden further endorsed the concept of gender-neutral markers for voter registration. “You ought to be able to just put X on sex and be able – you don't have to explain a damn thing,” he said. “If you’re a registered person in that place, you should be able to vote.”
- Pass the LGBTQ Essential Data Act: Biden has committed to passing the LGBTQ Essential Data Act which will improve data collection with respect to determining leading causes of violent death among the LGBTQ+ community.
- Appointed the first openly-LGBTQ Secretary of the Army: In 2016, the Obama-Biden administration appointed Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army, the first LGBTQ person to serve as Secretary of the Army or any DOD Secretary position.
- Called recent killings of black transgender women “outrageous” and said it “must end”: While speaking at a Human Rights Campaign gala in Ohio, Biden said that the epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people was “It’s outrageous” and that “It must, it must, it must end. The fastest way to end it is to end the Trump administration.”
- Promised to make prosecuting violence against transgender women of color a priority: In his LGBTQ plan, Biden committed to direct federal resources to prevent violence against transgender women and prioritize prosecutions against the offenders of that violence within his first 100 days.
- Expanding the Matthew Shepard And James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act: Biden will expand funding under the Matthew Shepard And James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act for anti-bias and hate crime investigation training, undoubtedly boosting the effectiveness of federal investigations of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.
- Called Transgender Rights the “civil rights issue of our time”: While campaigning in Florida in 2012, Joe Biden said transgender discrimination is “the civil rights issue of our time” during a visit to a field office.
- Came out early in support of marriage equality: In 2012, before many in his own party supported marriage equality, Joe Biden stood with our community and endorsed marriage equality in an interview with Meet the Press. HRC endorsed Joe Biden on the 8th anniversary of that interview earlier this year.
- Designated Stonewall a federal monument: In 2016, the Obama-Biden administration designated Stonewall a national monument for its role in the LGBTQ rights movement.
- Presided over a same-sex marriage at the Naval Observatory: While serving as Vice President, Biden presided over the marriage of his staffers at the Naval Observatory - the first same-sex marriage at the historic property.
- Spoke out against the Trump administration removing pride flags from military installations: After the Trump administration issued new rules limiting the flying of Pride flags on military properties, Biden called the rules “undeniably wrong” and committed to reversing the rule as President.
In the World
- Restore US leadership on LGBTQ equality: Biden will rebuild the State Department and restore the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons to defend promoting LGBTQ human rights across the world.
- Promised to ensure LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers have access to necessary services and protections: Biden has promised to end Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols and restore our prior asylum laws so that we can fully protect LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. He will also expand the training of federal agencies to ensure staff understand and are able to effectively respond to LGBTQ refugees’ needs appropriately.
- Urging US businesses to pressure anti-LGBTQ governments: In 2016 at Davos, Biden urged corporate executives to use their international influence to promote LGBTQ equality and hold anti-LGBTQ governments accountable.
- Rescind Trump’s “Muslim Ban”: Biden will rescind Trump’s “Muslim Ban” which currently prevents LGBTQ people from the banned nations from seeking asylum in the United States despite the ongoing discrimination and violence they face.
- Called Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill inhumane and never justifiable: In 2019, Biden said “LGBTQ rights are human rights. Uganda's proposed new law is inhumane. Using religion or culture to license discrimination is never justifiable. Period.”
- On The International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia (IDAHOT), Biden pledged to continue to defend the rights of LGBTQ people at home and abroad: On IDAHOT, Biden said “The best mechanism to confront this hatred is to speak up in favor of universal human rights. Supportive voices must be heard. Today and every day, let us continue to defend the rights of LGBTQ people, whether from nearby cities or far-off villages. We cannot rest until everyone receives the dignity, respect, and equal treatment under the law that all people deserve.”