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Equality Caucus Applauds Early Pro-LGBTQ+ Actions of Biden Administration

Jan 21, 2021
Press Release


DATE:  January 21, 2021




Equality Caucus Applauds Early Pro-LGBTQ+ Actions of Biden Administration


Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is pleased to see important steps already taken by the Biden Administration to promote fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ community and applauds the President and his team for taking a principled stance on inclusion.


The Biden Administration has announced an Executive Order implementing the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is an important step towards leveling the playing field as Congress works to pass the Equality Act. The Biden immigration proposal contains important provisions for LGBTQ+ people, including an end to the one-year filing deadline for asylum and the ability for same-sex partners to be treated as spouses when coming from countries that do not recognize marriage equality. Last, the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine to the position of Assistant Secretary at Health and Human Services is an historic step as Dr. Levine would be the first transgender person named to a Senate-confirmed position.


“Only 24 hours into his tenure, President Biden is already making our country more inclusive for LGBTQ+ people. From his earliest appointments to key administration positions to his signing of an executive order that strengthens anti-discrimination protections, it is clear that President Biden will govern as a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01). “I look forward to continuing to work with him and his team in the days ahead to reverse the damage the previous administration has done and ensure that all Americans are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”


“President Biden has been a longtime ally to LGBTQ+ Americans, and his early actions as President show his dedication to equality. These Executive Orders are the first steps in reaffirming the American ideals that every person – no matter who they are or who they love – should be treated with respect, “ said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). “He is also committed to ensuring LGBTQ+ people are represented in the rooms where decisions are being made. The historic appointments of Transportation Secretary-designee Pete Buttigieg and Assistant Secretary of Health-designee Rachel Levine shows this White House values the voices and leadership of our community. I look forward to partnering with the Biden Administration to pass the Equality Act and level the playing field for all LGBTQ+ people.”


“The Biden-Harris administration is already showing their commitment to LGBTQ rights and equality, beginning with his appointment of Dr. Rachel Levine as his assistant secretary of health—who would be the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02). “The administration has also committed to passing immigration reform legislation that would reverse Trump-era discriminations against LGBTQ immigrants. Paired with his continued support for passing the Equality Act, we are looking forward to an administration that seeks to protect LGBTQ Americans instead of targeting and demonizing them.”


“In the day since President Biden was sworn in, we have already seen incredible progress being made to support the LGBTQ+ community. The executive orders signed on day one to combat discrimination in the workplace and to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are key to safeguarding equality and giving LGBTQ+ Dreamers protection from deportation. I’m grateful that the Biden Administration is living up to its commitment to prioritize our well-being and advance our rights. Now it is up to Congress to continue working to codify and expand those protections for our diverse LGBTQ+ community by passing the Equality Act and the Dream and Promise Act,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Takano (CA-41).


“After four years of discrimination, exclusion and injustice I am encouraged and energized by the immediate progress that the Biden-Harris Administration has made in fighting for LGBTQ rights in the early hours of their presidency. The early steps taken by this new White House demonstrate a commitment to creating an Administration that reflects the diversity of America and a dedication to ensuring equality in every corner of the United States,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Angie Craig (MN-02). “I am optimistic that President Biden and Vice President Harris will continue to build on this success by pursuing a policy agenda that will help Americans to break down longstanding barriers while reversing four years’ worth of setbacks in our long march toward equality and justice for all.” 


“It’s incredibly encouraging to see President Biden on day one in office uphold the commitments he made to the LGBTQ+ community and begin to roll back the harmful, discriminatory policies of the previous administration. I’m particularly encouraged by the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine, an immensely qualified and historic choice to help lead the new administration’s health efforts and get this virus under control. There’s a lot of work ahead of us to undo the damage of the past four years and advance rights for LGBTQ+ folks, but the Biden Administration is off to a strong start,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Sharice Davids (KS-03).


“After the last four years of concerted attacks on LGBTQ Americans, I am encouraged to see the Biden Administration taking meaningful action within the first 24 hours to ensure everyone is equally protected under the law,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Chris Pappas (NH-01). “The executive order which requires an immediate review of all existing federal regulations and policies to ensure they comply with the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling is a critical step, which I called upon the Trump Administration to make last year. I am hopeful this is only the beginning, and I look forward to working with this Administration to protect the rights and dignity of all those in the LGBTQ community and create a more inclusive future.”


“The Biden-Harris Administration has already proven that it is taking immigration reform seriously and is ready to change the laws that have devastated thousands of families across the country,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “Unfortunately, LGBTQ individuals are overrepresented in the refugee and asylum system and need particular attention as reform proposals are considered. They face discrimination within the system and many come with a history of family rejection, unequal treatment and face the risk of abuse by officials. It is important that changes to our immigration, refugee and asylum system take into consideration the needs of vulnerable communities, and LGBTQ people in particular.”


Please contact Shawn Gaylord at 202-257-8416 or with press inquiries.

Founded in 2008, the mission of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is to promote equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Caucus, which is led by the nine openly LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives, is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. and around the world.