100 Days Out: Trump v. Biden’s Leadership on LGBTQ Equality

by HRC Staff

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

HRC outlines Trump and Biden’s record and plans leading on LGBTQ equality.

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 and Biden’s record and plans leading on LGBTQ equality:


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


  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Designated Stonewall a federal monument: In 2016, the Obama-Biden administration designated Stonewall a national monument for its role in the LGBTQ rights movement.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.