President Biden promoted LGBTQ+ rights in his joint address to Congress last night. The remarks come at a time when state legislatures around the country have been proposing and passing legislation that limits the rights of LGBTQ+ persons, specifically persons of trans experience.
In his remarks, Biden called on the Senate to pass the Equality act, which he had promised to sign within his 100 days in office if elected back in November. “To all transgender Americans watching at home, especially young people who are so brave,” he added, “I want you to know your president has your back.”
During his campaign, Biden had promised to protect transgender rights, which had come under attack by the previous administration. After taking office, he reversed the Trump administration’s ban on transgender persons serving in the military. He also signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Biden administration has been the most LGBTQ+ inclusive of any presidential administration to date. The Victory Fund reports that in his first 100 days, Biden has appointed at least 200 officials to the administration, far beyond the 37 appointed by President Obama.
The President’s address last night highlighted the achievements his administration has made in his first 100 days in office. During the address, he spoke at length about his administration’s response to the Covid pandemic crisis, which has included passage of the American Rescue Plan, and the administering of 220 million Covid shots (over their goal of 100 million). He also used the time to pitch his American Jobs Plan, which he called “a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself” and “the largest jobs plan since World War Two.”
Although he had pledged to also sign the Equality Act into law within the first 100 days, the Senate has yet to vote on the legislation.