With less than a month until election day, we were finally given the chance to see former Vice President Joe Biden answer a question directly about the LGBTQ+ community on television.
During Biden’s town hall broadcast to ABC networks from Philadelphia, voters quizzed the candidate on how he’d protect the rights of the trans community. The question came from Mieke Haeck, a physical therapist and mother to two girls — one of whom is transgender. She highlighted how the Trump administration has “attacked the rights of transgender people” by bringing up the military ban, the weakening of non-discrimination policies, and removal of the word “transgender” from government websites.
“How will you, as president, reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under US law?” Haeck then asked.
In response, Biden said that he would “flat out just change the law” and “eliminate those executive orders.”
“The idea that an eight-year-old child or 10-year-old child decides, you know, ‘I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I decided I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier;’ there should be zero discrimination,” said Biden. “And what’s happening is, too much, transgender women of color are being murdered, they’re being murdered.”
Although Biden suggested the number of trans deaths so far this year was 17, Haeck noted that the number is actually much higher, with the total being at least 33. 2020 has currently been the deadliest year for trans people on record, and the mention of violence against the community is just the starting point to helping improve trans lives across the country — now it’s time to do something about it.
Haeck wasn’t the only person to bring up LGBTQ+ rights during the town hall. Biden also fielded a question from another voter who asked if the LGBTQ+ community should be worried about the SCOTUS nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.
“My reading online of what the judge said was that she didn’t answer very many questions at all,” Biden said of Barrett. “I don’t even think she has laid out much of a judicial philosophy. So I think there’s great reason to be concerned for the LGBT community. [LGBT+ rights are] something I fought for.”