President Biden's Pro-LGBTQ+ Timeline

President Joe Bien signs a document at his desk in the Oval Office.

President Biden committed to being a champion for LGBTQ+ people every day in the White House, and he’s off to a historic start. From protecting people from discrimination to addressing the epidemic of violence against trans people to ensuring a safe future for LGBTQ+ youth, there’s so much good we can do together. We’re tracking every action taken by this White House to defend our communities and expand our rights.

June 30, 2021 - White House Forms Interagency Working Group Focused on Safety, Inclusion, and Opportunity for Transgender Individuals

President Biden announced the establishment of an interagency working group led out of the White House that will coordinate policies to advance safety, economic opportunity, and inclusion for transgender people. The working group will include participants from the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Labor, Interior, Veterans Affairs, and Defense. The Department of State and USAID will also participate to strengthen their efforts to protect transgender individuals from violence and discrimination around the world. The creation of this working group aligns with recommendations outlined in HRC’s 2020 Blueprint for Positive Change.

June 30, 2021 - State Department Announces Changes to Passport Gender Markers

The Biden–Harris Administration announced that the U.S. Department of State will begin the process of including a non-binary gender marker and have modernized existing requirements for updating gender markers on United States passports — a policy that will impact millions of individuals in the U.S., including 1.2 million non-binary adults, 2 million transgender people, and as many as 5.5 million people who were born intersex. This new policy aligns with recommendations outlined in HRC’s 2020 Blueprint for Positive Change.

June 25, 2021 - White House Signing of National Pulse Memorial Legislation

During an event at the White House, President Joe Biden signed into law the Pulse National Memorial, which will honor and remember the victims and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub massacre by designating the space a national memorial.

June 17, 2021 - Department of Justice Moves To Protect Transgender Young People Against Discriminatory State Legislation in West Virginia & Arkansas

The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice filed two statements of interest in litigation challenging state laws that violate the legal rights of transgender young people. In one statement, the Department of Justice asserts that West Virginia’s law prohibiting transgender women and girls from playing on teams consistent with their gender identity (WV HB 3293), enacted in April of 2021, violates federal law. The other statement of interest asserts Arkansas’ law (AR HB 1570) that prohibits medical providers from providing transgender youth with certain medically necessary care, enacted by the legislature in April of 2021, violates the Constitution.

June 16, 2021 - Department of Education Says Title IX Protections Apply to LGBTQ students

The Department of Education issued a notice of interpretation that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a reversal of the Trump administration's stance that LGBTQ students are not protected by the law. The Department cited the Supreme Court's ruling in Bostock that federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex protects LGBTQ people.

June 1, 2021 - Kamala Harris Becomes First Sitting Vice President to March in Pride Parade

Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., making history as the first sitting Vice President to march in a Pride event. During the march, Harris delivered brief remarks to the crowd, advocating for the Senate to pass the Equality Act.

June 1, 2021- President Biden Restores Tradition of Recognizing Pride Month in Official Proclamation

President Joe Biden formally declared June as Pride Month and reiterated his pledge to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.

May 19, 2021 - U.S. Expands Birthright Citizenship Of Babies Born Abroad To Same-Sex Couples

The State Department updated its policy to recognize the U.S. citizenship of babies board abroad to same-sex couples, regardless of whether an American parent is biologically related. Under the new policy, children born to same-sex or heterosexual couples abroad through in vitro fertilization, surrogacy or other reproductive technology will be recognized as U.S. citizens at birth as long as at least one of the parents is American.

May 17, 2021 - President Biden Recognizes IDAHOTB

President Biden officially recognized the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and reiterated his commitment to LGBTQ rights around the world. IDAHOTB is recognized internationally and brings attention to the continued need for equality for all LGBTQ people.

May 10, 2021 - President Biden Enforces Non-Discrimination Protections in Health Care

The Biden administration announced it would enforce federal policy to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in health care based on gender identity & sexual orientation through Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Trump had previously sought to strip those protections in 2020, but the roll-back was blocked through a preliminary injunction issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the Human Rights Campaign against the administration.

April 27, 2021 - President Biden Nominates Gina Ortiz Jones as Undersecretary of the Air Force

The Biden-Harris administration announced Gina Ortiz Jones as its nominee for Undersecretary of the Air Force. Jones, an openly lesbian Filipino-American who served in the Air Force and overseas in Iraq, would become the first woman of color undersecretary if confirmed.

April 23, 2021 - Department of Justice Advocates for Fair Treatment of Incarcerated Transgender Individuals

The Department of Justice announced in a statement of interest in litigation that under the 8th Amendment, incarcerated trans people must be housed according to their gender identity and provided gender-affirming care.

April 23, 2021 - President Biden Announces Historic Nominations to the Department of Defense

The Biden-Harris administration announced plans to nominate two LGBTQ officials within the Department of Defense. Shawn Skelly will be nominated for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, and previously made history as the first trans veteran appointed by a U.S. president under President Obama. Brenda Sue Fulton, a lesbian West Point graduate and former Army officer, will be nominated for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

April 22, 2021 - Department of Housing & Urban Development Withdraws Trump-Era Proposal to Gut Equal Access Rule

Secretary Fudge announced plans to withdraw Trump-era proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule. The Obama administration’s policy ensures non-discrimination protections in HUD-funded housing and programs based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. It also protects LGBTQ families and ensures people seeking emergency housing are housed safely in accordance with their gender identity.

April 13, 2021 - Department of Housing & Urban Development Announced Plans to Restore Housing Protections

The Department of Housing & Urban Development issued a notice of intent to restore both the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and the disparate impact rule. Both rules were previously gutted under the Trump administration and would promote equality for historically marginalized populations, including LGBTQ people.

April 5, 2021 - Department of Justice Issues Memo on Title IX Protecting LGBTQ Students

Following President Biden’s executive order affirming the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock vs. Clayton County, the Department of Justice issued a memo determining that Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This ensures complaints of discrimination LGBTQ students in federally-funded schools will be investigated by the Department of Education.

March 31, 2021 - Department of Defense Releases Detailed Directives on Reversing Transgender Military Ban

The Department of Defense released detailed directives to formally roll back the ban on transgender military service set in place under Trump. These actions followed President Biden’s earlier executive order repealing the discriminatory ban.

March 31, 2021 - President Biden Issues Transgender Day of Visibility Message

President Biden issued a statement celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility. This marked the first time a sitting president acknowledged the day dedicated to lifting up trans voices, stories and the continued fight for full equality.

March 30, 2021 - Secretary of State Blinken Rejects Conclusion on the Commission on Unalienable Rights

Secretary of State Blinken rebuked the Trump administration’s findings within its Commission on Unalienable Rights, which tried to assert some human rights issues took priority over others. The conclusion was an attempt to undermine efforts to strengthen the rights of LGBTQ people and women.

March 24, 2021 - Dr. Rachel Levine Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health & Human Services

Dr. Rachel Levine was confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health & Human Services, becoming the first-ever openly transgender official confirmed by the Senate. She represents just one of the many historic appointments under the Biden-Harris administration.

March 9, 2021 - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Enforces Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Following President Biden’s executive order, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an interpretive rule enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The rule will ensure LGBTQ people do not face discrimination when accessing financial services such as loans or credit.

March 8, 2021 - Executive Orders on Gender Equality and Title IX

President Biden issued two executive orders commemorating International Women’s Day. The first called for the creation of a White House Gender Policy Council to advance gender equality in domestic and foreign policy development, combat systemic bias and discrimination, focus on increasing female participation in the labor force and decrease wage and wealth gaps. The second order directs the Department of Education to review all of its regulations, orders and guidance, including Title IX, to ensure they are consistent with the administration's work aimed at stopping sexual violence on campuses nationwide.

February 23, 2021 - Department of Veterans Affairs Expands Support for Trans Veterans

At President Biden’s direction, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would begin reviewing its policies to ensure they are inclusive of all gender identities and gender expressions. This includes a plan to end the ban on gender-affirming care for trans veterans.

February 19, 2021 - President Biden Encourages Passage of the Equality Act

After reintroduction of the Equality Act in the House, President Biden shared his support for the legislation and called on Congress to swiftly sign it into law. The Equality Act would create sweeping protections for LGBTQ people in housing, education, health care and more. The White House later put out its official statement of administration policy supporting the legislation.

February 11, 2021 - Fair Housing Act Enforced to Protect LGBTQ People

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, at the direction of President Biden, announced it would enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people, a step toward addressing the housing challenges many in our community face.

February 10, 2021 - Biden-Harris Administration Postpones Discriminatory Trump-Era HHS Rule Change

The Biden-Harris administration announced it would halt implementation of a discriminatory Trump-era rule under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The rule would have permitted discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities and women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV and STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs and more.

February 9, 2021 - Press Secretary Psaki Affirms Trans Rights are Human Rights

During a daily press briefing, Press SecretaryJen Psaki received a question regarding the administration’s stance on transgender students participating in sports. Psaki made the President’s position clear - trans rights are human rights.

February 4, 2021 - Memorandum on Protecting Rights of LGBTQ People Abroad

President Biden issued a memorandum aimed at protecting the rights of LGBTQI people worldwide. This memorandum comes at a time when same-sex relations are still criminalized in 69 countries, with same-sex conduct punishable by death in nine of them.

February 2, 2021 - Pete Buttigieg Confirmed as Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 86-13 to become the next Transportation Secretary. He is now the first-ever openly LGBTQ Cabinet member confirmed by the full Senate.

January 28, 2021 - Global Gag Rule Rescinded

President Biden signed an executive memorandum to immediately rescind the so-called Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” a decades-old policy barring international nonprofits from receiving U.S. funding if they provide abortion counseling or referrals.

January 25, 2021 - Repeal of the Ban on Transgender Military Service

Within his first week in office, President Biden followed through on his promise to repeal the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. An estimated 15,000 service members were impacted by the policy enacted under Trump.

January 23, 2021 - Department of Justice Reversal of Trump Era Memorandum Designed to Limit Bostock Implementation

Implementing President Biden’s executive order regarding Bostock v. Clayton County, the Department of Justice revoked a Trump era memorandum that was designed to substantially limit application of the decision with respect to workplace nondiscrimination law and to refute application to other areas of law.

January 22, 2021 - First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Visits Whitman-Walker Health

As one of her first official visits as First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden visited Whitman-Walker, one of the foremost LGBTQ clinics and providers for those living with HIV & AIDS. The visit was a clear indication that this administration will make our health and well-being a priority.

January 21, 2021 - Trump Ban on Diversity Training Revoked

President Biden revoked a former Trump order that had banned federal agencies, contractors and recipients of federal funding from conducting certain diversity training on race and sex that also had implications for trainings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

January 20, 2021 - Equity Orders on Racial Equity & Support for Underserved Communities

President Biden issued an executive order advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government, explicitly including LGBTQ people within the measures. The executive order includes a commitment to ensuring equitable access to government programs, engagement with underserved communities and the creation of an Interagency Working Group on Equitable Data.

January 20, 2021 - Executive Order Implementing the Bostock Decision

On day one, President Biden issued the most substantive, wide-ranging LGBTQ executive order in U.S. history, extending protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The executive order affirmed the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock vs. Clayton County, which secured workplace protections, and applied the holding of the Court to laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, education, health care and credit.