Biden Reneges on Pledge to LGBTQ People

Won’t push for Equality Act in first 100 days

James Finn
Jan 16 · 7 min read
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Image for post
Joe and Jill Biden at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, Washington, DC, September 2018. Cropped from photo by Ted Eytan. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The other shoe has dropped

President Elect Joseph Biden, before even being sworn into office, has broken a solemn campaign promise he made repeatedly and forcibly to LGBTQ people. He told us over and over that his “number one legislative priority” would be passing The Equality Act, which would add LGBTQ people as classes of marginalized minorities to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What is the Equality Act?

The Act is needed to fight discrimination against members of gender and sexual minorities in housing, employment, education, health care, public accommodation and other areas of civil life. Many Americans presume discrimination against LGBTQ people is already illegal. Sadly, they are wrong.

Biden’s Equality Act promise stalls

Biden promised he would fix these problems by starting a massive effort to pass the Equality Act the very day he was sworn in. He intoxicated LGBTQ advocates by telling us things would be different now. That he would go to bat for us with all the power at his disposal.

Biden knew all along his Senate majority would be slim or nothing

Nobody serious ever predicted a 60-member, filibuster-proof Democratic advantage in the Senate this year. A slim majority was the most optimistic projection credible analysts supposed in late October when Biden said, ‘ I will make enactment of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during my first 100 days.”

Lots of good things can still happen for LGBTQ equality

While our disappointment should taste bitter, and while we must continue to pressure Biden to keep the promise we believe he made in good faith, progress is possible without the Equality Act.

Bostock “master” executive order

CAP joins LGBTQ advocates in calling on Biden to sign a “master” executive order directing all federal agencies to take immediate steps to implement the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision, which holds that all LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and illegal under existing civil rights law.

Executive orders and agency regulations can’t replace the Equality Act

The Biden administration can accomplish a tremendous amount of good by fully implementing CAP’s recommendations. Executive orders and regulations can work against oppression and stop a lot of suffering. LGBTQ people everywhere urge Joe Biden to take every step he is able with all the speed his team can muster.

To all Americans of good will, the time is now to keep full pressure on the Biden administration. We LGBTQ people can’t win our equality on our own. We desperately need your help.

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James Finn

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

James Finn

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

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