100 Days Out: Trump v. Biden on LGBTQ Representation

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 and Biden’s record and plans for LGBTQ representation:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.
  7. 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.