Elections do matter. In his first five days in office, President Biden delivered on his promises of immediately undoing Trump policies that targeted LGBTQ+ people which were described by the Human Rights Campaign at the time as “an onslaught of attacks against the LGBTQ community”.
The administration took four heartening and encouraging actions to undo some of this damage:
While the reaction by activists, business leaders, and the community was overwhelmingly positive, some in the opposition were quick to describe the executive orders as a first sign of “overreach” by the administration (as this Tweet by Senator Cornyn of Texas demonstrates). Supporters of the decision to lift the trans ban were quick to reiterate that Biden’s actions are not new protections but merely undoing decisions by the previous administration meant to undermine the human rights of LGBTQ+ people in the United States.
These positive developments come on the heels of several new LGBTQ+ appointments by the administration including Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s top health official, as assistant secretary of health, Jesse Salazar as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, and of course our former Out Leadership colleague Amb. Rufus Gifford as protocol chief. You can see the full list of appointments here.
In another sign of support, Jill Biden went to visit an LGBTQ community clinic, the Whitman-Walker Health HIV/AIDS clinics in Washington, D.C.. on her first day at work Friday.
This is certainly a time for the LGBTQ+ community to enjoy these long-awaited and reassuring days in the United States. It is also a time to continue to press on taking new actions that will continue the LGBTQ+ journey towards equality. In the few months since Election Day, Out Leadership shared several suggestions with the Biden-Harris Transition Team to better the daily lives of LGBTQ+ people at home and abroad.
The November 2022 elections, in which all 435 seats in the House and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested, is uncertain and our community ought to benefit from the support of the current administration in the next two years.