In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News last week, former Vice President Joe Biden answered some specific questions about his platform. Among them was a question about Biden support for the Equality Act, a piece of legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against a person because of gender identity or sexuality in housing, education and more. In response, Biden pledged to sign the bill in his potential first 100 days in office — solidifying his allyship with the LGBTQ+ community and moving his position even further away from that of Trump.
“To help achieve our vision of equality, I will make enactment of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during my first 100 days — a priority that Donald Trump opposes,” said Biden. “This is essential to ensuring that no future president can ever again roll back civil rights and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, including when it comes to housing. I will also direct my Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies.”
Even if Biden were to take office and sign the Equality Act into law, there’s no real guarantee that the protections would go into effect quickly or anytime soon after. The reforms would most likely be challenged by conservative groups, and could end up in the federal courts system, which the Trump administration has packed with many ultraconservative and homophobic judges. A handful of Supreme Court Judges have already expressed disagreement about LGBTQ+ equality, suggesting that the bill could be invalidated by the judiciary body.
The interview also touched on a number of different LGBTQ+ topics, including queer people in prisons, possible representation in Biden’s cabinet, and the increase in violence for trans women of color.
“Hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people started long before Trump and Pence took office,” Biden told the publication. “Defeating them will not solve the problem, but it is an essential first step in order to resume our march toward equality.”