Biden Lists Equality Act, Discrimination In The Workplace Among Top Priorities

Vice President Joe Biden (screen capture)

Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a lengthy, comprehensive plan to advance LGBTQ equality if elected president.

“Joe Biden believes that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity and be able to live without fear no matter who they are or who they love,” begins the detailed, 17-page plan. 

That’s followed by a long list of policies and executive actions Biden promises to advance from the Oval Office.

Biden pledges to make passage of The Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top priority. He’ll also take action using his executive authority to reverse the discriminatory actions of the Trump-Pence administration.

As in the Obama administration, he will reaffirm that the Civil Rights Act’s Title VII prohibition against employment discrimination based on sex applies to discrimination based on gender identity.

Biden’s plan includes reversing the transgender military ban, ending the Trump administration’s policy of discharging military service members with HIV, and work to support the unique needs of LGBTQ veterans.

Biden will repeal the Trump/Pence policy that allows adoption and foster care agencies receiving federal funds to discriminate against LGBTQ families and work to ensure those child welfare agencies put the interests of children first, including those who are LGBTQ.

In addition, Biden will work with the U.S. Department of State and other federal agencies to ensure the equal treatment of same-sex couples and their children in the application of all federal programs, services, and benefits—especially with respect to citizenship eligibility requirements and immigration and naturalization proceedings. 

Noting that there are approximately 3 million LGBTQ people in the United States older than age 50, Biden promises to champion passage of the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act to ensure non-discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ older Americans. 

Transgender and non-binary people often experience violence and harassment without identification documents that accurately reflect their gender identity. Biden will support state and federal efforts to provide every transgender or non-binary person the option of changing their gender marker to “M,” “F,” or  “X” on government identifications, passports, and other documentation. 

Biden promises to work with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure regulations on blood donations by LGBTQ people are “based on science, not fiction or stigma.”

In regard to LGBTQ youth, Biden will reinstate Obama-era guidance to allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity, and work to enact the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act and the Safe Schools Act.

He will also seek to end suicide among LGBTQ youth and address homelessness among those young people.

Also part of the plan are proposals for combating violence against trans women of color, strengthening the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, supporting LGBTQ survivors of violence, guaranteeing the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections, ensuring fair treatment of LGBTQ people in the criminal justice system, and more.

The document also includes a list of Biden’s record on LGBTQ rights over the years.

From supporting the right to marry in a historic “Meet the Press” interview in 2012; leading the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; participating in the “It Gets Better” campaign in 2010 to support LGBTQ youth; and being an original co-sponsor for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit bias based on sexual orientation in employment.

There are many more details and policies listed in the Biden plan. Read the full document by clicking over to his official campaign site here.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has also put forth his own list of policies regarding LGBTQ rights and protections, although not as lengthy or detailed. You can find Sanders’s plan on his website here.

What do you think?