Following Joint Session Speech, Human Rights Campaign Praises President Biden’s Pro-LGBTQ Agenda and Support for the Equality Act

by HRC Staff

Following President Joseph R. Biden’s inaugural address to a joint session of Congress, Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement:

“The Biden Administration has made it clear through their actions that they are allies in the fight for equality and justice for LGBTQ people here in the United States and across the globe. And tonight, we were pleased to hear the president tell Congress directly that passing the Equality Act remains a top priority of his administration, and must be a top priority for the United States Senate. Equality and justice are not partisan goals — they are the bedrock on which our country was founded.”

“LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination in many areas including health care, housing, education and other critical areas of life; bias-motivated violence; and other limits on our ability to fully and freely live our lives. Especially in this moment, when LGBTQ rights are under attack in several states across the country, it was important to see President Biden make it clear tonight that his priority would be continuing our shared fight to ensure that every American has access to the fullness of opportunity our country affords. To that point, we were especially heartened to hear the president specifically uplift his support for transgender people and particularly affirm transgender kids.”

“Additionally, President Biden made it clear that he supports many more policies that are critical to the LGBTQ community in this country: access to affordable health care and vaccines for all; gun violence prevention; voting rights; police and criminal justice reform; and immigration reform. The Human Rights Campaign applauds the president’s speech tonight, his actions over his first 100 days in office, and the clear drive his administration has to make our country safer and more equal for all.”

The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government — to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The legislation also amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

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