On Day One, Biden Issues “Most Substantive” LGBTQ Executive Order in U.S. History

The wide-ranging order bolsters federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.

After less than 24 hours in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden is already making historic progress for LGBTQ equality.

The newly sworn-in president of the United States signed an executive order late last night that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is calling “the most substantive and wide-ranging LGBTQ executive order in U.S. history.” The order in question fully implements the Supreme Court’s June 2020 ruling protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexuality. As NewNowNext previously reported, that hard-won decision came after years of legal battles over three consolidated court cases: Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express v. Zarda; and G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC.

Last night’s order also means the government can use federal law to enforce LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in other areas of life, including, health care, housing, and education. It wasn’t the only executive order President Biden signed, either. He also issued measures mandating mask-wearing on federal properties, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and ending the so-called “Muslim travel ban.”

This is just one of the many pro-LGBTQ measures President Biden has vowed to implement. The Democrat and vocal LGBTQ ally is also expected to reverse President Donald Trump’s now-infamous transgender military ban within the first few days of his presidency. (Less important but also worth noting: His team tapped Mother Monster to sing the national anthem at yesterday’s inauguration ceremony. Allies, take notes!)

“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,” said HRC president Alphonso David in a statement. “While detailed implementation across the federal government will take time, this Executive Order will begin to immediately change the lives of the millions of LGBTQ people seeking to be treated equally under the law. The full slate of Day One Executive Orders mark a welcome shift from the politics of xenophobia and discrimination to an administration that embraces our world, its people, and its dreamers.”

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella