Joe Biden’s Executive Orders, but make it LGBTQ+
In late January, President Biden began his term as 46th President of the United States the way many do - with Executive Orders that worked in opposition to the previous administration’s work rolling back protections of LGBTQ+ people in America.
Called the Executive Order on “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” supporters have declared this the “most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States president,” and has created a space for a collective sigh of relief.
It was signed into law on January 20, 2021, which proves Biden’s dedication to protecting LGBTQ+ citizens in this country. As one of the first things he did as President, it can show an example of the presidency that Biden is striving to create - while making a more accepting and safe future for LGBTQ+ people in America.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender and sexuality was unconstitutional.
This year, President Biden interpreted this decision to find that discrimination against LGBTQ people is sex discrimination, and Biden’s interpretation brought that decision even further to mean that LGBTQ people are also protected in health care, housing, and education (Fadel). This order shows that it is now the policy - and centerfold - of this administration that “[e]very person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” while adding that “transgender Black Americans face unconscionably high levels of workplace discrimination, homelessness, and violence, including fatal violence.”
These notations in the executive order are massive wins for the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only does it ensure change for the discrimination faced as a whole in the community, it also goes in deeper to acknowledge the racial inequalities within the LGBTQ+ community that are intensely different.
Biden’s order is by far “the most far reaching of any federal protections so far,” and gives a lot of hope for the next four years of his presidency (Fadel).
And within that realm of hope, “today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their President and their government believe discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only intolerable but illegal” (Alphonso David, President, HRC).
The relief we feel today is important - we worked so hard to get to this point of having more protections around us. While that relief is real, however, it’s also important to remember that we’re a growing country with a lot of years ahead of us in this presidency - and this must not be the end of our fight.