Equality Caucus Works Toward LGBTQ+ Diversity in Next Presidential Administration
December 7, 2020
Dear President-Elect Biden & Vice President-Elect Harris:
Congratulations on your historic victory! We look forward to working with you to pass the Equality Act into law next Congress and to reverse the damage President Trump has done to the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans over the last four years.
While your administration is on track to be the most diverse in American history, we ask that you continue your commitment to diversity by ensuring LGBTQ+ professionals are included in your Cabinet and throughout your administration. The fact is that the LGBTQ+ community remains underrepresented at the highest levels of our government.
Although we are confident your administration will work quickly to reverse many of the anti-LGBTQ+ policies put in place by the Trump administration, the LGBTQ+ community still faces significant challenges even under a Democratic administration. The groundbreaking Obergefell decision is now at risk of being overturned with Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court. That is why it is critical that LGBTQ+ Americans are appointed to the Cabinet, senior staff positions, and the judiciary.
We strongly believe that LGBTQ+ Americans should have a seat at the table at the highest levels of your administration. As Democrats, we believe our strength lies in our diversity and that EVERY American deserves to be included.
During the 2018 midterms, LGBTQ+ voters gave us the support we needed to put a check on Donald Trump by giving Democrats a majority in the U.S. House. In that election, more than four out of every five LGBTQ+ people voted for the Democrat running in their district. We saw the highest number of LGBTQ+ candidates elected on record – more than 150 – making up an unprecedented Rainbow Wave.
Once again, LGBTQ+ voters were critical in your campaign for the White House this year. On Super Tuesday, almost one out of every 10 voters were LGBTQ+. Then again in November, nearly three out of every four registered LGBTQ+ voters supported your candidacy.
Yet, while LBGTQ+ Americans have made gains in recent years, we still have immense challenges. This is especially true for young people. This year, a study found that two out of every five young LGBTQ+ Americans considered suicide. Two-thirds show signs of generalized anxiety disorder. One out of three have been physically harmed or threatened with violence. As much as 40 percent of the American homeless population is made up of LGBTQ+ youth. In a year when violence against trans women of color has increased, a global pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and there are higher rates of discrimination and a lack of access to resources for LGBTQ+ communities of color, it is crucial that we elevate voices that can speak to these struggles.
Making sure the LGBTQ+ community is represented at the highest levels of government will not only show your commitment to full LGBTQ+ equality, but it will also help reassure millions of LGBTQ+ Americans that they are an important part of our country. It cannot be overstated how important it is to our community, especially for young LGBTQ+ Americans to have role models to look up to as they struggle for acceptance in their families, communities, and workplaces.
Once again, we applaud your ongoing efforts to make sure your administration reflects the true diversity and greatness of our country. In the coming days, we will recommend experienced LGBTQ+ professionals to your transition team for positions at every level of your administration. We have a lot of work to do next Congress to reverse the heartless and discriminatory policies of the Trump administration. We look forward to working with you and your administration to achieve these goals.
David N. Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mark Pocan, Mark Takano, Angie Craig, Sharice L. Davids, Chris Pappas, Mondaire Jones, and Ritchie Torres