Joe Biden just reaffirmed his intent to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans, including transgender children.
This Thursday, October 15, the Democratic presidential nominee sat down with ABC News for a Town Hall event. During the course of the night, he fielded two questions about LGBTQ issues.
Asked what he’d say to queer voters who are worried about their rights being jeopardized by Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s conservative, ultra-religious SCOTUS nominee, Biden was frank: “I think there’s great reason to be concerned… My reading online [about] what the judge said is she didn’t answer very many questions at all. And I don’t even think she’s laid out much of a judicial philosophy at all… so I think there’s great reason to be concerned for the LGBTQ community.”
Later, Biden received a question from Mieke Haeck, a physical therapist from Pennsylvania and the “proud mom” of a trans child. Haeck listed a number of the Trump administration’s attacks on transgender equality, including the now-infamous trans military ban.
“How will you, as president, reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?” she asked.
The former Vice President didn’t mince his words. “I will flat-out change the law, eliminate those executive orders,” he reassured Haeck.
He added that the real focus should be on protecting transgender people from violence, not discriminating against trans children. In a tragic single-year record, at least 33 transgender Americans have already been violently killed in 2020. Most victims were trans people of color, particularly Black trans women.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 16, 2020
“There should be zero discrimination,” Biden continued. “What’s happening is there are too many transgender women of color being murdered—they’re being murdered.”
It’s not the first time Biden has stood up for the rights of LGBTQ Americans. As NewNowNext reported in September, the White House hopeful honored the anniversary of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being repealed by promising to reverse Trump’s trans military ban if elected president. He previously pledged to advance the LGBTQ Equality Act. Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, his running mate, also acknowledged Spirit Day and National Coming Out Day on social media.
Unsurprisingly, President Donald Trump fielded exactly zero questions about LGBTQ issues at his separate Town Hall event, which aired simultaneously. In a statement, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said it was a “shame and a disservice” to LGBTQ voters.
“LGBTQ voters and our allies make up a powerful voting bloc and deserve to know where the candidates stand,” Ellis added. “Our rights and the Trump administration’s record must continue to be part of the conversation in the most consequential election of our lifetime.”