President Trump has given hate against LGBTQIA+ individuals thrive, and he has rolled back critical protections for the LGBTQIA+ community. He has banned transgender people from the military. He has denied LGBTQIA+ people access to health care and rolled back protections for LGBTQIA+ people in federally funded adoption agencies. President Trump and his administration have led a systematic effort to roll back the progress made in LGBTQIA+ equality.
Below are just some of the harmful actions President Trump’s administration has taken against the LGBTQIA+ community:
- January 20, 2017: The President scrubbed all motions of LGBTQIA+ people from the websites of the White House, Department of State, and Department of Labor.
February 22, 2017: The Departments of Justice and Education withdrew landmark 2016 guidance explaining how schools must protect transgender students under Title IX.
- July 26, 2017: The Justice Department filed a brief on behalf of the United States in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
July 26, 2017: President Trump announced, that “the U.S. government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
- September 7, 2017: The Justice Department filed a brief on behalf of the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing for a constitutional right for businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- January 26, 2018: DHHS proposed a rule that encourages medical providers to use religious grounds to deny treatment to transgender people, people who need reproductive care, and others.
- March 20, 2018: Department of Education reiterated that the administration would refuse to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity.
- May 11, 2018: The Bureau of Prisons in the Department of Justice adopted a policy of housing transgender people in federal prison facilities that match their sex assigned at birth, rolling back existing protections.
October 21, 2018: DHHS proposed a memo to change the legal definition of sex under Title IX, which would leave transgender people vulnerable to discrimination.
- November 19, 2018: Department of State appealed a court order directing it to issue a passport with a gender-neutral designation to a non-binary, intersex applicant.
- January 23, 2019: DHHS’ Office of Civil Rights granted an exemption to adoption and foster care agencies in South Carolina, allowing religiously – affiliated services to discrimination against current and aspiring LGBTQIA+ caregivers.
- April 12, 2019: Department of Defense put Trump’s ban on transgender service members into effect.
- May 2, 2019: DHHS published a final rule encouraging hospital officials, staff, and insurance companies to deny care to patients, including transgender patients, based on religious or moral beliefs.
- May 22, 2019: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a plan to gut regulations prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in HUD-funded homeless shelters.
- July 3, 2019: HUD removed requirements that applicants for homelessness funding maintain anti-discrimination policies and demonstrate efforts to serve LGBTQIA+ people and their families.
- July 8, 2019: Department State established a “Commission on Unalienable Rights” aimed at narrowing our country’s human rights advocacy to fit with the “natural law” and “natural rights” views of social conservatives, stating it would seek to “be vigilant that human rights discourse not be corrupted or hijacked or used for dubious or malignant purposes.”
- August 14, 2019: Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would radically expand the ability of federal contractors to exempt themselves from equal employment opportunity requirements, allowing for-profit and non-profit employers to impose “religious criteria” on employees that could include barring LGBTQIA+ employees.
- September 19, 2019: DHHS canceled a plan to explicitly prohibit hospitals from discriminating against LGBTQIA+ patients as a requirement of Medicare and Medicaid funds.
- November 1, 2019: DHHS announced it would not enforce, and planned repeal, regulations prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion in all DHHS grant programs.
- November 5, 2019: Department of Labor proposed to exempt the TRICARE health care program for military dependents and retirees from requirements not to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- January 16, 2020: Nine federal agencies – Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Agency on International Development – all proposed rule changes that would eliminate the rights of people receiving help from federal programs to request a referral if they have a concern or problem with a faith-based provider and to receive written notice of their rights.
- February 27, 2020: Department of Justice filed a court brief, expressing the view of the United States that anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination is not “a sufficient government interest” to overcome the objections of private businesses who want to deny “expressive” services to LGBTQIA+ people, and that these businesses must be permitted to opt-out of complying with local nondiscrimination laws.
- May 6, 2020: The Department of Education published a final rule encouraging schools to dramatically weaken protections for student survivors of sexual violence and harassment, and eliminating a provision that encourages religiously-affiliated schools to notify the Department and the public of their intent to discriminate on the basis of sex under a Title IX waiver.
- May 15, 2020: The Department of Education issued a letter declaring that the federal Title IX rule requires schools to ban transgender students from participating in school sports and threatening to withhold funding from schools if they do not comply.
- June 11, 2020: Trump Administration finalized a regulation that will erase protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies.
Trump can do so much more to roll back civil rights for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Will you let him?
Will you vote for the candidate who is a champion of LGBTQIA+ civil rights?
Vice President Joe Biden is that candidate.
I am a transgender woman and I may not survive another Trump term because of his attacks against the LGBTQIA+ community and his reversal of protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals in health care. Specifically, the rule he repealed that would protect transgender people in health care. Now, it is legal to discriminate against persons because of their gender identity in health care. This means I could be denied care just because I am transgender.
I need the protections in health care to survive because I live with an ultra-rare genetic disease that is slowly destroying my organs. It’s called cystinosis.
Once, when I lived in Omaha, Nebraska, I was denied a kidney transplant because of my transgender status. I had a living donor and instead of getting the transplant and staying off dialysis, I was forced to go on dialysis for three years.
On the other hand, we have Vice President Joe Biden. He will guarantee protections for LGBTQIA+ people in health care. He will fight for the Equality Act, which would guarantee that LGBTQIA+ individuals are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Below is a summary of Biden’s Plan to Advance LGBTQIA+ Equality in America and Around the World.
- Reverse the transgender military ban.
- Reverse the Department of Defense (DOD) policies that perpetuate stigmatization of and discrimination against people living with HIV.
- Support the freedom to build and protect families. Biden will work to ensure that qualified families are not discriminated against based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sex, marital status, disability, or religion and that child welfare agencies put the interest of children first, including those who are LGBTQIA+
- Reinstate protections for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness.
- Support LGBTQIA+ seniors. Biden will champion the passage of the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act to ensure non-discriminatory treatment of LGBTQIA+ older Americans.
- Affirm one’s gender marker and expand access to accurate identification documents. Biden believes every transgender or non-binary person should have the option of changing their gender marker to “M,” “F,” or “X” on government identification, passports, and other documentation.
- Guarantee transgender students have access to facilities based on their gender identity.
- Protect LGBTQIA+ students from sexual assault, harassment, and bullying. Biden will work to enact the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which will establish a grant program to support campus anti-harassment programs.
- Work to end suicide among young LGBTQIA+ individuals. Biden will expand access to mental health resources by doubling the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in our schools.
- Reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking against LGBTQIA+ individuals and support survivors of this violence. Biden will enact the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. He will also work to include sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination protections in the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) reauthorization.
- Enforce and strengthen the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
- Guarantee the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Ensure coverage for comprehensive care for LGBTQIA+ Americans. Biden will ensure that LGBTQIA+ individuals have full access to all appropriate health care treatments and resources including covering care related to transitioning – including gender-affirming surgery. He will also ensure that federal health plans provide coverage for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
- Decriminalize HIV exposure and transmission laws. Biden will support the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act.
- Ban so-called “Conversion Therapy”
“LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to be arrested in large part … because they get thrown out of their homes, they don’t have access to housing, they don’t have access to all the benefits that everyone else does, and they find themselves the victims, victimized by what is happening when they’re alone on the street, so many of them.” – Joe Biden, September 20, 2019
- Reduce LGBTIQA+ interactions with the criminal justice system. Biden will reduce the prison population, while also reducing crime, by funding a $20 billion grant program encouraging states to move from incarceration and toward prevention and rehabilitation. He will also direct the Attorney General to make it a prosecutorial priority to root out and prosecute misconduct by using pattern or practice investigation and consent decrees.
- Increase safety for incarcerated transgender individuals. Biden will require the Bureau of Prisons to revise the Transgender Offender Manual to once again include protections for transgender individuals who are incarcerated. He will also ensure all transgender inmates in federal correctional facilities have access to appropriate doctors and medical care including OBGYNs and hormone therapy.
- Ensure that human rights are at the center of our engagement with the world. He will appoint senior leaders across the government who will champion global equality, including a point person for LGBTQIA+ rights on the National Security Council to drive cohesive message and strategy across our engagement with individual countries and regions. He will also appoint a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQIA+ persons at the Department of State to coordinate diplomatic efforts and combat homophobia, transphobia, and stigma globally.
- Advance an inclusive human rights agenda that promotes LGBTQIA+ rights by integrating them within a broad human rights agenda.
- Use the full range of our diplomatic tools and foreign assistance to protect and advance human rights and development, and actively combat violence and discrimination.
- Combat sexual orientation and gender identity biases. Biden will advance culturally appropriate public information campaigns to promote LGBTQIA+ human rights and reduce biases, working in partnership with and building on the success and best practices of programs like the UN Free & Equal campaign.
- Work with Congress to enact the GLOBE Act.
I implore you to vote for Vice President Joe Biden for President. People’s lives may depend on you voting for Joe Biden.
Thank you for listening/reading.