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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Joe Biden formally declared June as Pride Month and reiterated his pledge to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.
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.
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.
President Biden (@POTUS): "Everyone is entitled to dignity and equality, no matter who they are, whom they love, or how they identify — and we will continue to engage with allies and partners to advance the human rights of #LGBTQI+ people." #IDAHOTB https://t.co/k4jF0eBRSE— Reggie Greer (@ReggieGreer46) May 17, 2021
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.
BREAKING: The Biden administration will enforce federal policy to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in health care based on gender identity & sexual orientation.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 10, 2021
We successfully sued the Trump admin for stripping health care protections away from LGBTQ people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BREAKING: @HUDgov has withdrawn Trump era proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule, reaffirming non-discrimination protections in HUD-funded housing/programs on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) April 22, 2021
Housing is a human right and should be free of discrimination.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transgender rights are human rights — and I’m calling on every American to join me in uplifting the worth and dignity of transgender Americans. Together, we can stamp out discrimination and deliver on our nation’s promise of freedom and equality for all. #TransDayofVisibility— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2021
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.
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.
History made: Dr. Rachel Levine was just confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary for Health, becoming the first-ever openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 24, 2021
Trans people are leaders, innovators and change-makers — and we deserve a seat at every table. pic.twitter.com/bNotSqaWDu
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, preventing discrimination in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems. I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 19, 2021
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.
BREAKING: At President @JoeBiden's direction, @HUDgov has announced it will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 11, 2021
It is illegal to deny you housing based on who you are or how you identify.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BREAKING: President Biden has ended the ban on transgender military service set in place under the Trump administration.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 25, 2021
A grateful nation salutes all who have served and hoped for this moment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Biden issued an executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities nationwide.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 26, 2021
Here’s why it’s a historic step forward for LGBTQ Americans. (THREAD)
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.