Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a sweeping plan for the LGBT community last week, pledging to overturn Trump-era religious liberty policies if he becomes president and promoting passage of the Equality Act – a bill opposed by some gay and lesbian Americans because of its negative impact on women’s sports.
Biden’s 7,000-word plan would also ban conversion therapy, guarantee transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms of their choosing, and add a “third gender” option on government forms for non-binary individuals.
The plan lists the accomplishments of the Obama-Biden administration for the LGBT community, such as ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and promoting the legalization of same-sex marriage.
“But this fight’s not over,” the plan says.
The Biden plan pledges to overturn a 2019 Trump religious liberty proposal that would allow faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to receive federal grants if they don’t place children in same-sex homes. The Trump proposal would reverse an Obama-era rule that prevented federal grants from going to any entity that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Zack Pruitt said last year the new Trump rule would end discrimination “against faith-based providers simply because of their beliefs about marriage.”
“As President, Biden will repeal the rule, if implemented,” the Biden plan says.
The Biden plan also pledges support for the Equality Act, which would amend federal laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit and the jury system.
Some supporters of the Equality Act have warned women’s sports are in danger if it’s not amended. Doriane Coleman, Martina Navratilova and Sanya Richards-Ross wrote a Washington Post editorial saying the act “would make it unlawful to differentiate among girls and women in sports on the basis of sex for any purpose.”
The Biden plan also pledges to:
- Guarantee that “transgender students have access to facilities based on their gender identity.”
“On his first day in office,” the plan says, “Biden will reinstate the Obama-Biden guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence Administration, which will restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.”
- Ban conversion therapy.
“Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals have been subjected to so-called ‘conversion therapy’ during their lifetime, which Biden knows is deeply harmful, highly unscientific, and often leads to trauma.”
- Ensure transgender individuals have access to identification documents that reflect their gender identity.
“Biden believes every transgender or non-binary person should have the option of changing their gender marker to ‘M,’ ‘F,’ or ‘X’ on government identifications, passports, and other documentation,” the plan says. “He will support state and federal efforts to allow for this accurate representation.”
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Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.