State of LGBT + rights after Biden’s first 100 days

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(This story from April 29 is passed on to correct the spelling of the name Talbott in par 20)

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Candidate Joe Biden has pledged a “march to equality” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans if he becomes president. One hundred days after taking office, how did US President Biden do?

Here’s a look at the state of LGBT + rights today and how they stack up against Biden’s pre-election pledge to better protect LGBT + Americans, roll back Trump-era policies, and strengthen the rights of minorities around the world.

EQUALITY ACT

As a candidate, Biden pledged to pass a law protecting LGBT + Americans from discrimination, known as the Equality Act, within the first 100 days of his tenure.

The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity for the purposes of protection alongside race, religion, sex and national origin .

He passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in February, but stuck in the Senate.

Press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden “continues to work on it” but can’t act without Congress taking action first.

“In order to sign legislation, he has to come to his office,” Psaki told reporters.

Biden urged U.S. lawmakers to pass the equality law in his speech to Congress on Wednesday.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Biden issued an executive order on his first day in office directing federal agencies to extend equal rights guarantees to sexual minorities in health, housing, education and credit.

He compared it to the landmark Supreme Court ruling last year that extended workplace protection to gay and trans Americans, often cited as the biggest LGBT + victory since same-sex marriage.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in March and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in February followed through on the directive, ensuring equal treatment for LGBT + Americans in banking or when buying or selling. rental of accommodation.

However, the decree failed to prohibit discrimination in public spaces or government-funded services – areas which are protected by the Equality Act.

This means that protections do not extend to places such as restaurants, shops and public transportation, as well as homeless shelters and government-funded adoption agencies.

TRANS MILITARY BAN

In his first month, Biden rescinded the Trump administration’s ban on recruiting trans Americans into the U.S. military.

In 2016, then-President Barack Obama allowed transgender Americans to openly serve and receive medical care during their transition.

A year later, Trump partially reversed the order, banning service for new trans staff.

“I’ve just been stuck in this limbo area for several years and it’s like someone finally hit the play button,” said Nic Talbott, a trans man forced to drop out of officer training. army reserve. Body.

There are no official figures on trans Americans in the military, but think tank Rand Corp estimated in 2016 that about 2,450 of the 1.3 million active duty members were trans.

TRANS RIGHTS

Republicans introduced a record 175 trans rights bills in at least 32 states this year, according to Human Rights Campaign, America’s leading LGBT + advocacy group.

The bills are largely aimed at preventing trans children from participating in sports and receiving the types of medical care that supporters of the measures say young people might later regret.

Biden winked at the multitude of bills in his speech to Congress on Wednesday.

“For all transgender Americans watching at home, especially young people, you are so brave. I want you to know that your president is supporting you, ”he said.

While the White House has limited ability to influence state law, some experts believe state actions are a reaction to a newly elected Democratic president.

“It’s a way for Republicans at the state level to mobilize supporters using so-called corner questions and in particular cultural questions,” said Gabriele Magni, political scientist at Loyola Marymount University at the Thomson Foundation. Reuters.

VARIOUS MEETINGS

Biden appointed a record number of LGBT + leaders to his administration in his first 100 days – at least 200 people – according to the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which supports LGBT + candidates.

These include Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet Secretary to be confirmed by the Senate, and Rachel Levine, the first openly trans federal public servant.

LGBT + RIGHTS ABROAD

Candidate Biden pledged to “restore the position of the United States as a world leader defending LGBTQ + rights and development.”

In February, Biden issued a presidential memorandum directing U.S. agencies working overseas to fight foreign governments’ criminalization of LGBT + people.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week allowed all US embassies and consulates to fly rainbow flags, synonymous with the LGBT + community, in tandem with the US flag – overturning a ban by the Trump administration during pride month.

Reporting by Matthew Lavietes @mattlavietes; Edited by Katy Migiro, Lyndsay Griffiths and Hugo Greenhalgh; Please mention the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org



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