100 Days Out: Trump v. Biden on LGBTQ Equality in the World

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

HRC is highlighting key attacks from the Trump-Pence administration and the commitments from the Biden administration to undo those attacks and build a better future for LGBTQ people.

Over the coming days, HRC will be highlighting the key attacks from the Trump-Pence Administration and the commitments from the Biden administration to undo those attacks and build a better future for LGBTQ people. These are Trump’s attacks on and Biden’s record and plans for LGBTQ equality throughout the world:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.”