While former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been unequivocal about his support for LGBTQ rights, evangelical Christians have done their best to use the issue – trans rights in particular – as an election-year wedge issue.
Biden appeared in a pre-recorded video for the Human Rights Campaign’s Unite for Equality virtual event, warning viewers that “this election is going to determine our future for a very long time.” The candidate doubled down on his support for the Equality Act and other community priorities during the speech.
“You deserve a partner in the White House to fight with conviction and win the battles ahead,” he said. “Together we’ll pass the Equality Act, protect LGBTQ youth, expand access to health care, support LGBTQ workers, win full rights for transgender Americans, recommit to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025, advance LGBT rights around the globe, not just at home.”
Biden has said that he would make the Equality Act a priority for his first 100 days in office. The proposed law would ensure nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in several areas of federal law.
Former congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, known for her far-right religious posturing, has been trying to garner headlines lately by attacking both Biden and LGBTQ people.
Bachmann ran for president in 2012 and didn’t run for re-election to Congress a year later after an investigation was opened into her presidential campaign’s finances.
“Joe Biden has said the very first thing he would do as president of the United States is to put in place the Equality Act,” Bachmann said on pastor Todd Coconato’s Bombshell podcast. “It’s really the Inequality Act, because the Equality Act would add the words ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 65.”
“And that would completely upend the Civil Rights Act, which was meant to give equality to Blacks in all areas of life in the United States, which was a good thing. This actually, in my perspective, harms all people because it really is about punishing. It gives special rights to certain people who practice certain behaviors. It’s about giving rights to feelings, not to immutable physical characteristics.”
“Even worse,” she added, “we’re all going to lose rights. Those who believe in a biblical standard, we will be punished. We will no longer be able to verbally or practice life in the way that we used to practice life because we’ll be punished for what the Bible says. If we speak what the Bible says, we’ll be punished.”
The law does not include “punishments” for people who quote the Bible.