General News

Biden signs order protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination

Rachel Badham January 21, 2021

After being sworn in as US president yesterday, Joe Biden has issued a handful of executive orders to improve LGBTQ+ equality, including one which will protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination. According to Metro Weekly, the order builds on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Bostock v. Clayton County case, which found LGBTQ+ people are protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Biden’s order ensures the federal government will embrace this interpretation of the Civil Rights Act in future cases. 

Following Biden’s inauguration, Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, said: “On his very first day in office, President Biden is stating clearly that there is no place for discrimination in the federal government. Bostock v. Clayton County was a major victory for LGBTQ+ Americans. Today’s executive order moved us another step toward a day when transgender people can openly live as who they are without being targeted for discrimination.”

The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, also praised Biden’s actions: “Biden’s executive order is the most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States president. 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.”

Biden is also due to overturn several anti-LGBTQ+ policies created during Trump’s presidency, including reversing the ban on transgender people joining the military, and restoring bathroom protections for trans students.